As the Baldwinsville High School marching band prepared to perform their Superman-themed show Friday night during halftime of the Bees home football game against West Genesee, a familiar, scratchy television voice proclaimed over loudspeakers, “Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird. It’s a plane …”
No, it’s a drone.
Hovering just above the tree line opposite the grandstand at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium at C.W. Baker High School in Baldwinsville was a drone taking pictures and video. The quad-copter belongs to an administrator with a Facebook page called Bville Blotter that takes unique photos of their community. One of those pictures is above.
An administrator with the web site said via email that they captured video of the band’s performance. They’ve also put together a small library of about 300 photos using the drone.
Section III executive director John Rathbun said Baldwinsville is the only instance thus far he knows about in which a drone has shown up at a high school event. But the New York State Public High School Athletic Association has already issued a rules interpretation concerning drones to its sectional executive directors.
Robert Zayas, executive director for the NYSPHSAA, said national football rules call for a 2-yard restraining line around the field. He said it’s his interpretation that the 2-yard restraining line extends upwards above the field to infinity, thus, making it illegal for any drones to fly over during a game.
The drone at the Baldwinsville game appeared to stay behind the light standards at the football stadium and did not fly over the field.
“I am hopeful that common sense would prevail here with the fact that we do not want something hovering over the top of coaches, players and officials during play,” Zayas wrote.
But how to enforce a no-fly zone?
Drones are already taking video and photos of games. In Nashville, The Tennessean posted a video of footage from a high school football contest taken by a drone that flew directly over the field.
Baldwinsville High School marching band director Casey Vanderstouw said his organization has a drone it uses but it is not the one that showed up last Friday night from the Bville blotter. Vanderstouw said the band is researching the possibility of using the drone to shoot video when the band performs at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com