How to Video Tape a Soccer Game

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Thanks for volunteering to tape a match. Coaches can not see or appreciate everything that occurs during a match. With the video tape, the coach can make a careful and studious analysis of team abilities and team problems, and develop a training plan to enhance the abilities and resolve the problems seen in the tape. The tips following should help you make a better quality tape.

Camera Tricks for Taping a Soccer Game

  • Some digital videocorders rewind a significant amount each time RECORD is turned OFF. This causes a significant loss of data if you stop recording at each stoppage of play. If you want to stop, let the camera run for about 5 seconds before turning it off.
  • Similarly, it takes some cameras as long as 5 seconds to start rolling, so it is not always worth it to turn the camera off for minor stoppages of play, because you miss continuity of play, and it is sometimes important to have a view of the field situation before the restart.

Setting Up Before the Soccer Match Starts

  • Tape from the coach's side if the referee allows it to minimize the number of people who walk in front of the camera or talk to you while taping.
  • Set up the tripod early and make it level and stable. Mount the camera and turn it on. Pan the field from goal to goal, looking through the view finder to check that the top of the bar on each goal hits the view frame at about the same place. If it does not, the tripod is not level or the camera is pointing up or down.
  • If it is raining, you can keep the camera dry with a plastic bag over the top, leaving only the lens out when there is game action. If the camera gets too wet, it quits.
  • Put a little resistance in the azimuth and elevation tripod settings to avoid jiggle while taping. It should take a little muscle to move the camera.
  • Put the lens cap back on when not with the camera to avoid burning out the CCD imaging system in case the camera points up to the sun.

The Soccer Match Begins

  • Scan the field slowly, before kick off, particularly the opponents, so that we can see their organization and positions.
  • As the linesman starts to work, prepare to move the camera if he often takes a position that obstructs your view.
  • If someone walks in front of the camera, don't be shy about saying "excuse me, we are taping the match". Most people will be glad to move out of the way.

Taping the Soccer Action

  • Avoid jiggling back and forth and up and down. Don't talk - it has sound.
  • Zoom in and out frequently to adjust to position of the ball. You will want to see about 20 yards worth of action, 10 on either side of the ball.
  • Always zoom in fully when the ball is near the opposite side or far end of the field. Otherwise, the people on the tape look like indiscernible ants.
  • Zoom back when the ball is near so you can keep all the action in frame. If you lose a ball that is punted high into the air, zoom back until you find the ball in the frame. Then zoom in as the ball is about to be headed.

After the Match

  • Let the tape run during a few moments of post game activity in case there is an incident worth recording or a shirt number we did not see before.
  • Mark the tape while still at the field to avoid losing data.