By Kevin Dwyer -
As we dawn on Day 7 of NARCh, it shocks me how quickly the first six days went by! To inform everyone out there, I am the man behind the scenes working the robo cameras for the NARCh Live Stream. It’s quite an honor to be a part of what NARCh has put forth this year, seeing the sport of roller hockey at a fresh point of view. As we prepare to stream games, Jason Monroe (the director), myself, and Mike Vickerman who works the bench camera, try to keep a consistent way of how we are broadcasting these games. The first day of championships was for sure a trial period, and I still think we were up to par. What we aim for in the “tree house” as we like to call it, is always having the puck in the picture, and changing up the vantage points to keep viewers in the game. Every so often, the puck is lost in the picture. That is when Jason switches what camera angle we show on the broadcast. When we switch to Vickerman on the rink side camera, we look to capture the real speed of roller hockey through that angle. Keeping the shot at eye level puts the game in a player’s perspective. The other angle we are starting to incorporate more and more is the overhead shot. We open this up when teams have a power play opportunity. As the tournament goes on, we anticipate this to be a crucial angle, to really illustrate the power play from a bird’s eye view that has not been seen before.
I think the most fun game we have streamed up to this point was the Squirt Gold final today between the Mission/Bauer Bordercats and Mississauga Rattlers. To open the scoring, one of the Bordercat forwards made an incredible move, basically throwing the puck behind him between his legs, spinning back around, catching the puck from the pass to himself, and putting the puck past the high glove side. You will have the chance to see the goal on our next Top 10 that we will release soon. The Bordercats ended up winning 6-5, in a very entertaining game. The great thing about our live stream feature is the fact that you can go back and watch every game we have streamed as many times as you would like. I would highly recommend watching that one if you did not catch it live.
The best part about operating these robo cameras is the different angles we get to utilize during the skills competitions. The over head shot of the skaters before they take off in the fastest skater competition is a great new look that no one has ever had the chance to witness. The other angle we really like is the overhead shot of the snipers going in on the goalies to do their best and bury the puck. The real heroes of our broadcasting group are Vickerman and Monroe. Vickerman sits between the benches for hours, and is very active during the skills competitions that bring crucial angles that give us great looking highlights, and Monroe is the one that is bringing you viewers the timely cuts between different camera angles that makes the production look so professional. The directing Monroe has us under is really what’s bringing the dynamic that NARCh has this year.
The atmosphere through the first six days has been great. Sponsorship row on rink 3 offers a variety of products and companies that are more than comfortably approachable. The Hershey Centre staff is ready and willing to attend to anything needed at the drop of a hat, and the hockey is only getting better and better! Ultimately, the energy and fun filled environment I have the chance to work in is determined by the participants of those players and their families that came. The twentieth anniversary year of NARCh has blown all expectations, and we look to keep doing so for the next nine days.