Baseball / Softball

4 Drawbacks of Softball and Baseball Live Streaming Products

by Griffin Lloyd

Former college athlete and video editor. Current content creator, sports enthusiast and dog dad.

Enjoying a live sports event from the comfort of your own couch is undoubtedly convenient and allows you to stay connected no matter where you’re located. Now that most events are open to spectators again, it’s rare that someone that can’t attend in person will be able to watch and engage in a full live-streamed game. The benefits of live-streamed games are also often outweighed by low-quality footage due to bandwidth issues, low viewership, and technical hurdles associated with live-streaming products.

As the world becomes more accustomed to this component of video in the youth sports market, there are still several pieces to the puzzle that are worth implementing.

1. One Viewpoint vs. Multiple Viewpoints

Most live streaming products will allow you to record with your smartphone, or as an additional expense, a higher-end camera.These solutions provide good video quality of a single position on the field, which means live viewers can follow the action to some degree, though the video has limited usefulness as a tool for analysis post-game.

Most live-stream cameras are set up behind the backstop, the only real benefit is seeing the batter’s box up close. This severely limits the action you’re able to see once the ball is hit. With one camera setup, you likely have a fixed position with one angle. Regardless of the position of the camera, it will be extremely difficult to get every moment, particularly outfield moments, unless you have a multi-camera setup (which gets extremely expensive).

Using Trace, as shown in this special moment above, allows you to get video that automatically follows each play, regardless of where the play occurs on the field. We also give users the opportunity to record unlimited positions on their iPhones using MultiCam technology (included with every subscription). Utilizing intelligent AI software, Trace records the entire game automatically and follows the action of every play. With the recommended position along the 1st or 3rd base fence-line, the Trace camera is programmed to track the ball and those players involved in the play, regardless of where it takes you on the field. Gone are the days you’re unable to see those outfield highlights, as Trace automatically pans to catch every special moment.

2. Raw Game Film vs. Personalized Video

Using video in the youth sports scene is becoming more and more prevalent, with no signs of slowing down. Live streaming games, however, only takes care of one component, and this article is here to show you the number of ways you can get true value from that video.

More teams than ever are using video for saving moments, sharing, and analysis. Game film systems like Trace deliver short, personalized moments to every player. Players review the footage, and coaches use the video as a teaching tool. The image below shows a visual representation of the amount of Trace users who view personalized moments, as opposed to a full game – an astounding difference in viewage.

Percentage of Views between Personalized Moments and Full Games

Game film systems like Trace are designed to benefit players and coaches, whereas live streams are built as a tool to serve those who cannot make it to the field.

When shopping for sports cameras, many coaches and parents miss this distinction.

  • Live streams tend to have a fixed camera angle, and can be extremely cumbersome to see everything that happens within a play. Players typically receive one large file with raw game footage, which tends to go unwatched unless players choose to search for one outstanding moment and take the time to edit it out.
  • Trace is the only solution with advanced software that sends players, parents, and coaches personalized, actionable video. An automated camera tracks the action on the field and stitches together 2 or more angles. Coaches get video sorted into tactical playlists to streamline coaching and cut the work associated with editing raw film. Players can view performance metrics to see improvements from game to game. In short, it’s an all-in-one system for people who want to engage with and save short form moments.

Many teams begin with live streaming before realizing the necessity of a true, AI-based game film system.  

3. Small Number of Live Viewers vs. High Engagement

Along with personalization, a key component of recording youth sports games is being able to easily view your footage after the game, regardless of your role on the team. Players want to watch themselves, parents want to watch their kid’s best moments, and coaches want to evaluate the team and individual’s performance.

As most players are visual learners, there can be exponential growth when it comes to evaluating performance through video. Many teams view video as an indispensable tool, and it’s only a matter of time before every team is not only recording their games, but also doing film analysis. While live streaming does allow people to view the game in real time, the benefits stop once the game is over.

With many services forcing you to pay for access once it’s streamed, the typical viewership we’ve seen has been close to single digits per game. That means there is little to no engagement, and you still aren’t getting that edited footage that’s so coveted.

With Trace delivering the personalized moments for each individual, we see an average of 768 views per match. By providing footage with context, completely broken down, we allow all users to access the footage and watch the footage they care about.

4. Live Streaming Technical Hassles

The final, and possibly most frustrating piece to consider in a video solution is the ability to share the footage. Live streaming and other means of recording leaves parents and coaches dealing with video storage, file downloads, or reformatting for simpler sharing, which is no simple task. Even with additional cloud storage services offered for post game use, there are severe limitations in sharing video smaller than a full inning or game.

Sharing video with friends, family, and coaches has always been hard, but with Trace’s ability to share all moments with a simple as a quick copy and paste, we are beginning to remove the friction everyone is accustomed to in the past. By giving you the option to download both full games and single moments, we allow you to share the moments that matter with the people you care about.

issues with gamechanger live stream
Sample issues with live-streaming products

Other Things to Keep in Mind

  • Additional equipment usually necessary

With most live streaming services, you’re able to stream with your smartphone or any other capable camera. However, you must find a way to set up the camera, using a tripod or additional hardware, and expenses can add up quickly.

  • Video Quality

With any live streaming service, it is difficult to perfect. Everyone must have a solid connection, or the stream will likely buffer on viewers or degrade in overall quality. This makes it difficult to watch unless you have a reliable connection.

  • Battery life

Streaming apps are the most battery greedy apps. By using speakers, display and mobile data at the same time, there are many components running at the same time. Typically, you will need to have an external battery source, which is another expense to consider.

  • Get tracing today
Wondering how Trace might fit into your game plan? Take a look at our membership packages.