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Unmanned Aerial Systems and Drones – A Coach’s New Best Friend?

Unmanned aerial systems, more commonly referred to as drones, have been a buzz lately. Drones act as aerial surveillance cameras and are typically associated with military use. Lately, the use of drones for other endeavors is on the rise. At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, drones were used as a security measure, but were also employed to capture a different view of events. The use of drones in sports is of interest and can be beneficial during practices and games. For example, UCLA is currently implementing the use of drones during football practice.

In sports like football, being able to see your players from overhead allows coaches a new view on their game plan. An aerial view allows coaches to correct spacing and placement, providing improved player and team performance. During actual sports games, having video footage from drones versus cable cameras can heighten the experience for fans and spectators. Since drones provide better maneuverability, their video footage can supply new viewing angles and may help determine whether or not a referee’s call was bad or justified.

While teams and coaches see the benefits of using drones, there are concerns about safety, privacy and ethical use. Safety issues include how high, low or far the drones can travel, as well as possible malfunctions that may occur. There is also a level of vulnerability to those in surrounding areas where the drone is being used. Also, sports teams may worry about other teams spying on practices. Recently, a drone was spotted flying above France’s training camp in Brazil for the World Cup 2014, raising concerns about spying. The issue is under investigation. In the US, the Federal Aviation Administration oversees the use of unmanned aircraft systems, however, specific rules and regulations are still in the works.

Cable camera systems are currently in use for football games, but are obviously limited in comparison to the drone’s versatility. These cable camera systems are also not ideal for all sports. For instance, using these cameras for golf tournaments is simply not practical. In regards to costs, drones can be much more affordable than cable camera systems. Once regulations and safety issues for drones are resolved, future use of drones in sports seems promising.

To our sports fanatics or security camera enthusiasts, what are your thoughts? Are you for or against their use in sports? Let us know what you think – tweet us @SecurityCamXprt, post on our Facebook wall, or share with us on Google+. You can even connect with us on Pinterest.

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