Are Drones Coming to a High School Sporting Event near You?
They’re relatively cheap and provide an easy way to capture images of all kinds of events, but they’ve also created controversy along the way. Now high school athletic officials in South Dakota are trying to determine what role, if any, drones can serve at local sporting events.
South Dakota High School Activities Association executive secretary John Krogstrand says some area high schools have inquired about what rules there are about using the small airborne devices to records things like practices and games for sports like soccer and football.
In an interview with Brookings Radio, Krogstrand says the devices do offer some advantages over the current systems in place for recording events, but acknowledges the SDHSAA has some concerns about drone use and will not allow them to be used at state championship events:
Other states have gone a step further. Just last month, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association officially banned all drones from the site of any high school athletic competitions permanently. The NCHSAA says the move as a safety precaution.
Last year, the National Federation of State High School Associations published an article from Lee Green, a sports, business, and constitutional law attorney and professor, titled “Legal Issues Related to Use of Drones in High School Sports”. In his piece, Green writes:
The primary issue for high school sports programs regarding the use of small drones is whether the practice is legal – permissible under Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules, under applicable state privacy laws and under legal mandates related to tort liability in case someone on the ground is injured by a malfunctioning UAS that falls from the sky.
High school associations may get a clearer understanding about what roles unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) may play in the future, when the Federal Aviation Administration presents the U.S. Congress with a clarification of the rules governing UAS, by the end of September.