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CaptureBy Mike Kuchar, Senior Research Manager, X&O Labs

One little-known rule change from the NFHS two years ago has gone virtually unnoticed… and it could be one of the biggest opportunities for high school coaches in 2015. Find out here...

By Mike Kuchar
Senior Research Manager
X&O Labs
Twitter: @MikekKuchar



CaptureOne little-known rule change from the NFHS two years ago has gone virtually unnoticed… and it could be one of the biggest opportunities for high school coaches in 2015.

In 2013, the NFHS changed its Football Rule to allow the use of video during games. The change allows the use of video on iPads and other tablets by coaches and players.

Specifically, coaches can use iPads and other tablets during games to communicate with players when both players and coaches are on the sideline (off the playing field); to communicate with players when the players are between the sideline and 9-yard marks; and during a conference with players inside the 9-yard marks, but only coaches are allowed to use the tablets.

However, it is illegal for coaches on the sideline to use iPads or other tablets to communicate with players inside the 9-yard marks; and, it is illegal for coaches to use iPads or other tablets to communicate with players during a conference inside the 9-yard marks.

See the NFHS’ illustrations below for a clarification and continue reading to see how to do it...



In the Real-World…

So, here’s what this rule change means in the real-world…

  • Seconds after a play, you can watch the video replay and make immediate corrections.
  • After a series, you can immediately show your players video replay and, again, make immediate corrections.
  • At halftime, your first half of film is already broken down, so you can review the video with your coaching staff, decide which corrections need to be made, and then, meet with your team to watch film and discuss the changes.

Capture3With this rule change, gone are the days of watching film on Saturday only to discover the one or two changes you could have made to win yesterday’s game. And, our favorite, you’ll no longer have to “get on” a kid on Monday due to a blown assignment, because you’ll be able to immediately show him the mistake and make changes during the game.

You can see now why we’re excited about NFHS Football Rule This rule change allows us as coaches to be more efficient, timely and it quickly improves player performance.

But Here’s the Big Question…

Our research has found that one year after the rule change went into effect, less than 1% of high school football programs used video replay during games (we should point out… having video replay when your opponent doesn’t is an enormous advantage for any school).

So, if this rule change is such a big opportunity for coaches, why aren’t more schools using video replay on the sidelines?

There’s just one problem… using video replay during a game is a great idea, but how the heck do you do it?

During our research for this report, we talked to a lot of coaches, some told us stories of how they tried to improvise with homemade video replay systems during games… throwing tennis balls with data cards from the sidelines to coaches in the booth, rigging up their own expensive systems with hundreds of feet of cable (only to find out homemade systems don’t work very well). You name it, it’s been tried… and, it’s probably failed.

Here’s What We Found Works Best…

During our research for this report, we found several companies that were starting to “dip their toe” in sideline replay systems with beta software, but there was one company that stood out from the others – and for one simple reason. Their system has been tested in the highest levels of competition and in some of the most extreme conditions – and it works.

We’re talking about the sideline replay system called, Reveal, by Insight Replay. We reached out to the guys at Insight Replay while we were conducting our background on the NFHS rule change and we were impressed.

For starters, Reveal was developed by Graham Clarke and Peter Foley, the co-founders of Insight Replay. Peter Foley is also the head coach of the U.S. Snowboard Team. So it goes without saying that the U.S. Olympic Snowboard Team uses Reveal for all its training programs. And because Reveal works in cold, wet environments, like on the side of a mountain, over 12 Olympic teams from around the world use the replay system (you can see how Olympic snowboard and ski teams are using Reveal by clicking here).

Capture4In fact, I had the opportunity to use Reveal during our off-season practices. From the perspective of a self-proclaimed technical neophyte, I found the product easy to use. The device took seconds to set up and the picture quality was terrific. The turnaround time was tremendous. The average 12 to 15 second clip is ready to watch in a few seconds.

Here's how I used it during the off-season:

  • I filmed one-on-one sessions with offensive and defensive linemen. Immediately after the whistle was blown, we were able to review the sequence. I was able to show each player his hand placement, footwork and technique. They were able to see immediately what they did right and what they did wrong. By affirming what I was teaching, it provided instant credibility as a coach and, more importantly, gave players accountability for their actions.
  • I filmed my quarterback’s mechanics in our seven-on-seven periods by standing directly behind him. I not only focused on his drop back and throwing mechanics, but I also was able to train him on the right reads to make based off the coverage he was seeing.
  • I was even able to take it into the weight room during our lifting sessions to document individual lifts. There was no better teacher of form. Kids were able to see if their squat was deep enough and why they didn’t clear the lift on the hang clean.

For me, using Reveal was immediate reinforcement of the techniques and coaching points we were trying to implement.

Here’s an example of how coaches are using Reveal during games. The following video was shot at the 24th annual Kansas vs. Missouri High School All-Star Game in June of 2015. Within seconds after this play ended, this clip was tagged and available for all the coaches on staff to review immediately or after the series ended... even during halftime.

To be clear and upfront, in early June Insight Replay became a sponsor of XandOLabs.com. This sponsorship came after we used and vetted their replay system. As most of you know, we do not allow many football companies to advertise on XandOLabs.com and those that we do allow, are carefully selected.

Here’s How Reveal by Insight Replay Works…

Capture5First, the entire Reveal system is shipped to you in rugged backpack. So it’s easy to carry and you know it will work when you arrive at the field.

Reveal’s real-time technology let's you capture video from multiple angles at once. You can use camcorders, professional video cameras, iPads, iPhones, and Android devices with real-time tagging that keeps everything organized. It has a custom tagging system with filters that let you organize your video exactly how you want it. Reveal lets you tag each clip, filter by tag and setup your tags the way that makes sense to you. It will be easy to find the clips you need when you need them. It also films from multiple angles, so you see exactly what you want. All video is saved to your computer. After a game you can filter and export clips to a zip file and you can even export all of your clips and upload to Hudl, Dropbox, or whatever service you use. An entire season will fit easily on your laptop.

The system is portable, self-contained (again, it comes in a backpack), and sets up in minutes. It allows you to either use your own computer system or one of their configured systems to save you a little time.

It works with a lot of different cameras. If your video camera has HD-SDI or HMDI output it will work. You can also film with any iPad, iPhone, or an Android device (4.3 and newer).

From a functional standpoint, the use of sideline replay can be a game changer for high football teams across the country. While I am still experimenting with the product, I do know that Reveal makes sideline video replay easy and I can’t wait to see how coaches use it this season. It gives coaches in the booth and on the sideline the ability to see the same video replays… within seconds.

To see how Reveal can give your team an advantage, check out the Reveal football page.

The Final Point…

Last season, less than 1% of high school football programs were using video replay during games. Now that technology has caught up to the NFHS Football Rule, the number of coaches using video replay during games is going to increase astronomically.

In short, those coaches who use replay video during games will have a distinct advantage over those coaches who don’t.

Get more information on
Insight Replay’s Reveal:
Go Here Now.




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