Livestreaming softball games is an excellent strategy for several reasons:
- It’s fun for the creator, plus there’s always something new to learn.
- Family members and others that can’t attend can still watch the game.
- Players and coaches can go back and watch the replay.
Let’s dive into how I go about livestreaming softball games. The same strategy can also be applied to baseball games. I cover the following:
- What equipment is needed to livestream games?
- The setup
- What channels to stream to
- Why is there a copyright claim on my livestream?
- Ensuring people know which live-stream link is the right one
Equipment needed for livestreaming softball games
You can make this as easy, complicated, or (un)comfortable as possible. The minimal equipment setup needs an iPhone or any smartphone with a camera and internet. Then, in a crunch, you can hold it. Or get a simple iPhone tripod to use.
Some fields have the newer, loser nets behind home plate that don’t work well to attach cameras to. That’s when the tripod comes in handy.
Fence mounts work well when the diamond has installed a rigid chain link type fence. This setup works well because it allows you to get a mostly unobstructed view of the diamond.
I also would recommend a waterproof phone pouch that keeps the phone dry in the case of rain. You can still stream from that phone, and the video can look good. Of course, it all depends on how much it’s raining.
Rounding out the iPhone equipment, I would recommend getting a wide-angle lens. These are easily installed on your phone and allow you to get a wider shot of the diamond using just one phone.
If possible, keep the protective iPhone case on the device in case it falls or gets hit.
The setup to livestream all depends on the layout of seating at the diamond, the fences, where you sit, and what equipment you have. I like the setup where I use Switcher Studio on my iPad Pro to produce the show while sitting behind or near home plate. Usually, I don’t stream from the iPad but use it to update the score and flip between camera angles.
I put one iPhone behind home plate and another facing down the third-to-home baseline. Switcher then allows me to switch between the cameras based on game action. When the diamond has a soft net behind the home, I will stream from the iPad on a tripod.
The new Emeet One also is an option to consider. Simply hook it to the fence like pictured, or use a tripod. Then connect it through its app on your phone. From there you can stream to social media or to GameChanger via RTMP.
Plan for the weather
Keep in mind the weather which can range from rain to extreme heat and sun. That can also mean that your streaming device – usually an iPhone or iPad in my case – can overheat. That can potentially happen because too many apps are running, though, this seems rare in my experience. Nonetheless, I close out apps I don’t need when streaming. Direct sunlight is another issue and my phone has actually shut down when I was streaming because the sun was glaring at it.
Try to give the device some shade when possible. That can be hard while streaming and if it’s temporarily installed on the fence. In that case, try to keep it cool before and in-between games. Put it in a bag, for example.
When streaming from a device not attached to the fence, I try to place it under my tent, which offers some relief from the direct sunlight.
What channels to stream to
I previously shared how to multistream, and this it’s no different for softball. You can multistream to several platforms. I usually stream my daughter’s travel softball games to:
- the team’s Facebook page
- my own Facebook profile
Being able to livestream to Gamechanger is relatively easy. And again, you can do different kinds of setup to accomplish that:
- Stream directly from the Gamechanger app while the game is scored in the app on another device.
- Feed the stream in through RTMP from a third-party tool like Switcher. To find the RTMP links to start, add the game to the Gamechanger schedule, click Go Live and then maneuver to the Exteneral Camera settings. There you’ll find the stream URL and stream key to enter into the third-party app.
Two things I love about streaming softball games to Gamechanger:
- The app creates automatic clips from highlights of hits – assuming it’s being scored correctly.
- Live stats are being shown on the live video.
Be aware that GameChange by default allows all staff members, players and family members to start a livestream. That can be a problem when somebody clicks “Go live” but they aren’t actually livestreaming the game. I would recommend to change the settings to “staff members” only to prevent any issues.
Why is there a copyright claim on my livestream?
Oftentimes teams play popular music between innings. That music can be heard on the broadcasted stream and can lead to copyright matches or claims. Here’s an example from a game that I streamed to Facebook.
“There are changes to your video because of a copyright match. The following actions were applied to your video by Sony Music Entertainment, because it may contain 35 seconds of content they own: Ads were inserted into your video.”
In other words, it’s not really anything to worry about. They are just adding ads into the stream and after all, I can’t go to the game organizers and ask them to turn the music off because of this anyway. The stream continued just fine anyway.
I was actually streaming to Facebook, Twitter, and GameChanger (public broadcast) in this particular case and only Facebook flagged it. And, there was more than one claim. Every new song owned by somebody else triggered additional claims.
Livestreaming softball or baseball games certainly has advantages and can be fun for parents that like to create content and learn new strategies. I enjoy doing the streams, and it’s great to see the highlights as well.