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| p.1 #9 · Protocol on using Flash at a H.S sporting event. |
I have pasted an excerpt below about using flash from the Michigan High School Athletic Association Media Guide. I think that it has some nice guidance. I have this printed out and in my camera bag with me at basketball games. I always talk to the Athletic Director ahead of time to arrange for approval. I have also attached the link below to the entire media guide.
From the media guide.
1. USE OF ELECTRONIC FLASH/STROBES – Photographers MAY use electronic flash/strobe
cameras during the progress of a sporting event as long as, in the opinion of the contest officials, the flash
does not hinder the actions of or endanger the contestants. The final decision as it relates to electronic
flash/strobe equipment rests with the judgment of the site management and contest officials when MHSAA
staff is not present at an event.
IMPORTANT -- When determining whether or not the use of electronic flash/strobe equipment represents a
hindrance to an event, do not evaluate the situation while looking directly at the strobe, but rather by taking
the view of the game participant or the official who is focusing on the action, not the strobe, and is not
aware of when the strobe is about to go off. Strobes properly positioned DO NOT pose a threat to the
conduct of most contests. If, after careful consideration, the strobe is determined to be a problem, game
management should work with the photographer using the strobe to review the strobe’s placement, flash
strength and direction. Sometimes, adjusting a strobe so that the flash bounces off the walls or ceilings will
correct any potential problems.
a. The only sports in which the use of electronic flash/strobe equipment is prohibited are: competitive
cheer, gymnastics and diving.
b. Requests to use strobe lights mounted to fixed positions shall be made well in advance of the
c. As a courtesy, contest managers or the MHSAA should inform participating coaches and contest
officials that photographers have been approved to use strobe lights in fixed positions.
d. Strobes should be placed in corner or ceiling positions, and should never be placed in the direct line
of a basket in basketball or focal point common to that sport. Effective August 28, 2012 9
e. Camera-mounted strobes must always be positioned similarly as fixed strobes. A camera operator
with an on-board strobe shall shoot outside the edges of the free throw lane in basketball, for example.
2. PHOTOGRAPHER PLACEMENT – Photographers for other sports shall be placed in positions in
accordance with National Federation of State High School Associations National Rules. In the sport of
football, for example, photographers shall be positioned behind the restraining line, which is two or more
yards from the sidelines and end zones. In addition, photographers shall not be positioned in the team
boxes between the 25-yard lines. Also, in the sports of baseball and Softball, photographers are prohibited
from being in live ball areas. If a designated media area is used, it shall be established before the game
begins, shall be a lined area and shall be considered a dead ball area. In soccer, photographers should not
be positioned within two yards of any sideline or endline. Some venues and events will have designated
areas where photographers may shoot from. Game officials and host management have the authority to
remove any member of the media for not staying in their designated area in any sport.