Norway to pilot sports video technology for Upper Peninsula

Joe Tinti, Norway High School principal and athletic director, demonstrates the Pixellot system that will be used to livestream sporting events in the district. Cameras are located at the football field and high school gym. (Theresa Proudfit/Daily News Photos)

NORWAY — The latest video technology for capturing sporting events will soon be operating in the Norway-Vulcan Area Schools District.

Known as Pixellot, the school board learned about the automated system last year through Joe Tinti, high school principal and athletic director, and Steve Andrews, technology coordinator.

The go-ahead was given by the board to look into the equipment and test it. The Norway Athletic Booster Club is on board with this new program as the district pilots it for the Upper Peninsula.

The company also offered it to the district at half-price. According to Superintendent Lou Steigerwald, the school district and the booster club each purchased one of the cameras needed to video games. Once it’s up, they are ready to take subscriptions, and the two groups will split the proceeds.

Steigerwald said that a livestreamed athletic event can be watched on a smart TV, YouTube, computer, iPad, tablet or smart phone.

Subscriptions will soon be offered to allow fans to watch football games livestreamed from Ronberg Field in Norway, captured by a Pixellot camera shown here.

The subscriber will received a log-in code to watch the game. The district will be offering subscriptions of $10 a month, $30 for a sports season, or $60 for the entire year.

“It will be nice to have for extended family not living in the area or for parents and grandparents who can’t come to a game,” Steigerwald said.

He added they are waiting for a part to arrive from the company — a part that wasn’t working in the original camera received. Once it’s been replaced, it will link the camera stream to the scoreboard during a game.

To start out, the cameras are located at the football field and high school gym.

Steigerwald said that they will have to look into doing something at Marion Park in order to be able to offer the service for softball and baseball.

“Cameras are operated by artificial intelligence. You go through setting up the time for the game to start and enter that in. Then, the camera starts up automatically and tracks the entire game,” Steigerwald said.

Pixellot company officials noted that the automated systems helps a sports organization cover a team and earn revenue from events.

The technology features an unmanned multi-camera system that covers the entire field and delivers a panoramic image.

Other good news from the school board was the ratification of contracts between the district and both the teachers and support staff unions.

The one-year contracts with the Norway-Vulcan Education Association and Norway-Vulcan Chapter of the Michigan Educational Support Personnel Association has an option built into it to extend the contract.

The district has a bond issue coming up in the spring, and Steigerwald said that if it passes, certain things in relation to the contract will be able to happen.

The nonunion staff in the school district all had their contracts updated and approved for another year.

These contracts were for Tinti as high school principal; Rico Menghini as elementary principal, Chuck Pellegrini, director of buildings and grounds; Andrews as technology director; Kristi Cazzola, superintendent’s secretary; and Steigerwald as superintendent.

Linda Lobeck can be reached at 906-774-2772, ext. 29 or llobeck@ironmountaindailynews.com.

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