by Ryan Duvall ‘21
Starting in the spring of the 2020-2021 school year or once MCPS allows school sports to resume, Sherwood will be broadcasting athletic events. After installing a new camera in both the school gym and stadium, Warrior games will be accessible online.
The camera, called the Pixellot, is making its way around the sports world. The company that makes the camera, also named Pixellot, was founded in 2013. Since then the camera has been used by networks such as ESPN, along with professional soccer clubs like FC Barcelona and Celtic FC. And the use of the Pixellot camera is still growing, especially in high school athletics. With more than 6,000 installations in schools across the country, the Pixellot camera will be here to stay. Sherwood is the next to join the Pixellot family, with all Montgomery County schools getting two cameras.
According to Sherwood Athletic Director Jason Woodward, the Pixellot cameras will be limited to certain areas, as there will only be a camera in the gym and stadium; however, the school still has plans to stream all athletic events, and possibly more school-wide events, using portable cameras. “If you have a laptop and any camera you can broadcast a game on the softball and baseball fields. We will have the capability to broadcast events in the auditorium if the sponsors choose to,” said Woodward.
The installation of these cameras was approved by MCPS in 2019 when the school district partnered with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) School Broadcast Program. According to a memo from School Superintendent Jack R. Smith, cameras were installed to add broadcast viewership to athletic events and to give students more opportunities to take part in events, whether it be video production or announcing games online.
So, while the Pixellot system was not added for the Covid-19 pandemic, it could still play a significant role if and when school sports games re-start. If Montgomery County limits fans from being present at games, they would still have an option to watch the broadcast online. Athletic events could be seen online at the NFHS school and district pages, and will be accessible on smartphones, computers, and tablets. There will be a “nominal fee” to watch games live, but games will be available for free 48 hours after, when they will be rebroadcasted.