With limited or no spectators in facilities across the country, junior volleyball club directors and program administrators are shopping around for the best solution to live stream practices and matches. You do not necessarily need to spend thousands of dollars to make it happen. Zoos, Daycares and Animal Shelters have been utilizing live stream feeds to emotionally connect viewers from afar.

Here are steps your club can take to live stream to your members and college coaches this season:
1. Select a Streaming Destination
A streaming destination or Content Delivery Network is the online site, platform, or app where your live video becomes available to others. CDNs include platforms like Youtube, Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Periscope, and more. Most CDNs have the option to select “going live right now” or scheduling to go live in the future, so you can plan ahead. Complete the live stream description, choose a category for your stream, add some tags, and use hashtags to assist everyone in finding your stream. You will be amazed at how many new likes and follows you will receive on your social media platform, and how many views your videos will have!
Before season kicks in with training, showcases and competition, create a YouTube Channel and/or FaceBook page for your club to display your events and share it on your website and newsletters. The best part is that it is free. You do need to pay for the devices, as well as high speed internet.
2. Set up a Device on Each Court

Mount or display a device such as a GoPro, iPad/tablet or smart phone on each court.  A nest can also live stream to FaceBook. You do not need to worry about displaying the score, however if you have someone on the bench flipping score they can show the score to the viewers during timeouts.

3.  Secure a Steady Internet Connection

In order to guarantee quality streaming, you need to make sure you have a steady network connection for the amount of courts/devices you plan to stream. The most reliable connection is a hardwired dedicated Ethernet line. Or you can use Wi-Fi Internet, which can fluctuate. A safe minimum would be 75 megabits per second download speed for each device. If you have 5 courts and purchase a gigabit connection, this will give you 1,000 megabits per second download speed. Verizon Business currently has a plan for $250/month.

Tip #1: make sure to perform a speed test beforehand to ensure you have a reliable live stream. For more internet bandwidth information click here.

Tip #2: consider shutting off the public internet access to allow the devices to use all of the bandwidth for streaming.

Tip #3: provide a phone number, email or another way to contact someone if the feed goes out or the camera is hit and needs to be adjusted.

Some clubs have created opportunities for parents to watch the matches outside in the parking lot or grassy area. Set up a large movie screen and create fun and safe atmosphere. Invite a local food truck or if you sell food from your facility’s restaurant/concession stand to offset the loss of admission revenue. You could even sell raffle tickets and pick winners in between games or matches. Sports may look different this season, but we can still find a way to enjoy them in a safe environment.

More business education for directors.