At-home stadium

High school sports broadcast becomes more necessary following pandemic restrictions

The players on the court seem miles below the stands, and yet, all of their actions; every twitch of their hand throwing the ball back into another dribble, seem microscopically visible. All the sounds, whether it be the rhythmic thud of the basketball on the court floor or the frantic thud of students jumping up and down on the stands, all feels equally projected directly into your brain. It all comes together in a single feeling of belonging in something you love.

You’re a sports fan, and you don’t know how you could live without this. But for the past year, you’ve somehow managed to do just that. All thanks to a microscopic virus whose global population could fit inside a soda can: COVID-19.

This is a story seen around the country, including at MN, where spectator presence has either been severely cut due to COVID policies, or entirely halted. 

Enter, Scorevision, MN’s sports commentary service.

Various students have also joined Scorevision, including junior Arnav Pokhrel.

“ I do play-by-play for both the girls and boys basketball teams,” Pokhrel said. “Play-by-play entails talking about the game, going through stats, and walking the audience through key moments of the games.”

This new accessibility, which allows students to both view games in a whole new way has also brought brand new fervor to the sport scene at MN.

“I do know that at some games we can get upwards of 1000 people tuned in, which proves to me that we’re doing a great service for the fans,” junior Jack Macfadyen, a student camera operator for sports broadcast, said. 

This excitement and appreciation has also extended far beyond the confines of views on a live stream, with many of these broadcasters getting personal recognition as well.

“We have had comments from extended family and alumni from all over the U.S. saying how fun it is to be able to watch all of the home games,” Harding said.

Of course, no widely viewed thing can come without hardship, and that’s exactly what the Broadcasters have faced.

“During football season, when I first started commentating, nerves were a huge issue,” Pokhrel said. “I had heard from other students, players, and my family that my voice was shaky and that I didn’t sound like myself.”

To add to their troubles, many of the issues faced by Scorevision run much deeper than just nervous commentators.

“Finding enough people to help support each live stream has been a challenge as there are games multiple times a week,” Harding said.

At the end of the day, it’s evident to the people involved, whether it be through the large viewership, the personal comments, and the simple fun they have along the way that they’re doing something worth doing. Still, broadcasting is a platform that’ll be massively important long after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, and so to anyone interested in pursuing broadcasting, Harding had this to say,

“It’s a really rewarding thing to do.  Unfortunately you can’t learn the different pieces of broadcast by reading a book.  The best way to learn it is to do it and be involved.”