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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Sports Talk 
Thread started 22 Nov 2016 (Tuesday) 09:09
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Rules/guides for sideline photographers?

110 posts
Likes: 29
Joined Oct 2016
Nov 22, 2016 09:09 |  #1

Photographing HS football, basketball and such I see so many who have no clue as to what can happen while they are not paying attention to the field or gym floor.

Basketball and baseball are probably worse than football. With those using cameras usually having their attention rivited on the action or their kid through the lens they have the other eye closed and are not watching for threats. Dangerous stuff like a hard pass in basketball that misses and slams a head into the back wall behind the basket. Not watching each pitch so they are ready to dodge the screaming foul ball about to nail their head/camera/lens.

Football has the parent/idiot with a camera who thinks the marks on the field a yard or more behind the sideline are there for decoration and steps into the area as their private photo zone. Worse, when a play happens they even walk onto the field. For those working these idiots block our view and mean no images of big plays. A ref's butt is one thing but an idiot with a camera on the field blocking view is unacceptable. Worse, many schools let this behavior go.

Anyone have a printed list of rules/guidelines for various sports venues to share here? Am trying to put together some to present to our High School Activities Assn so they can have them in place to ward off the lawsuit that is sure to hit one of these days when the 'idiot with camera' is in the gym or sideline and gets nailed. Their first reaction with the lawyer will be "they let me in and knew I was there so it is OK - and they are liable for my injury". With a written policy/guideline and actual knowledge of restrictions the schools will have something to work with.

Personal peeve are photographers who stand and block paying fans view of the game. NFL - you don't do it. Many colleges - your don't do it. Smaller venues it goes on a lot.

So, any guides you know of or policies/whatever you have seen or know from experience are welcome.

"I've been a procrastinator all my life. I keep meaning to do something about that."

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Michael ­ Rumsey
Senior Member
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Nov 22, 2016 10:38 |  #2

Wow! I hadn't thought that finding information on this would be so difficult. After an exhaustive internet search, I've yet to turn up anything like definitive. Most sites barely touch on the subject...usually after equipment, settings, and how to capture the moment.

We DO need a list of rules/etiquette (by sport) in one handy place.

"He's Just This Guy, You Know?"

john ­ crossley
2,668 posts
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Joined Nov 2009
Nov 22, 2016 14:09 |  #3

Football: don’t stand on the grassy bit (commonsense really)
Rugby: don’t stand on the grassy bit (commonsense really)
Cricket: don’t stand on the grassy bit (commonsense really)
Motorsport: don’t stand on the tarmac (commonsense really)

For those people that don’t have any commonsense then having a list of rules is just pointless as these people will just ignore them.

I’ve had more intelligent conversations with lobotomised amoebas.
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Cream of the Crop
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Joined Dec 2010
Location: East Central IL
Nov 22, 2016 14:14 |  #4

First time I shot college football another photographer explained in lurid detail how bad I'd look if the home team got penalized because I stepped into the "don't not go" area along the sidelines. Between that and keeping an eye on the ball so I wouldn't get nailed with a missed pass or a charging wide receiver, I was pretty busy for a few hours. Lots of concentration needed.

Mark J.

Dan ­ Marchant
Do people actually believe in the Title Fairy?
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Nov 29, 2016 20:25 |  #5

john crossley wrote in post #18191772 (external link)
For those people that don’t have any commonsense then having a list of rules is just pointless as these people will just ignore them.

The list isn't for the idiots, it's to protect against the idiots when they try to sue.

Dan Marchant
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Gear Canon 5DIII + Fuji X-T2 + lenses + a plastic widget I found in the camera box.

1,062 posts
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Joined Apr 2008
Location: UK
Dec 04, 2016 08:56 |  #6

"have you got public liability insurance?" "no" "stay in the spectator area"
"yes" "show me the certificate" "OK, wear a hi-viz, stay at least 1metre back from the touch line, sit down and don't leave your gear where someone may trip over it".
That would do for starters.

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” ― Henri Cartier-Bresson

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"my bits and pieces are all hard"
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Dec 04, 2016 19:36 |  #7

[QUOTE=john crossley;18191772]

You are missing the point, this is a cathartic straw man thread. Just go ahead an imagine some idiot doing something you don't like and then type up some 'advice' for them in a stern tone. You'll feel better.

You can expand this to other areas of life too. Does driving aggravate you? Dish out some harsh words for various imagined bad drivers that you may or may not have encountered recently. Have you seen parents that are too strict / not strict enough? Let them have it here.

My personal stuff:​photos/jngirbach/sets/ (external link)
I use a Canon 5DIII and a Sony A7rIII

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Rules/guides for sideline photographers?
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