Back-to-school season is coming, and parents, kids, teachers and coaches are wondering: What is school going to look like in the fall? With different attendance requirements in different states, school districts and grade levels, live-streaming video is likely to play a major role.
Ever since in-person classes were canceled in early 2020, school live streaming has been used to offer virtual instruction to students stuck at home. When high school sports resume, it’s unclear whether live audiences will be allowed. Even if they are, many parents and grandparents may prefer to stay home — but still want to watch the big game. Live streaming video can provide a front-row seat to supporters anywhere in the world.
For coaches and athletic directors who have never live streamed before, getting started might seem like a big undertaking. How do you know what equipment to buy and how to choose the right platform? Luckily, it’s easier than you think. In this post, we’ll teach you how to live stream high school sports on any budget using the Switchboard Cloud live video streaming service.
Start Live Sports Streaming in Three Easy Steps
With Switchboard Cloud, Switchboard Live’s live video streaming service, you can stream high school sports to audiences of any size, anywhere in the world. Create professional-quality broadcasts of games and practices, then stream them to all of your online channels at the same time: from Facebook to YouTube to your school’s website. Now, we’ll show you how to create a live streaming workflow that works for you.
Your workflow refers to the platforms and equipment you use to create and broadcast live streaming video. Every workflow, no matter how basic or complex, involves two things: an encoder, which is the app or program that sends your video signal to Switchboard Live, and a destination, which is the channel you want to stream to (for example, Facebook Live). Once you’ve chosen these, you can sign up for a free trial of Switchboard Cloud. Then, just follow these three easy steps to go live:
- Connect your encoder to Switchboard Cloud. No matter which encoder you choose (we’ll walk through these below), you’ll need to do a one-time configuration to connect the platform to Switchboard Cloud. The platform will walk you through this, but we also have instructions for connecting top encoders here.
- Add your preferred streaming destinations. Since you can live stream high school sports to all of your social media channels at once, in this step, you’ll select the destinations you want to stream to — for example, Facebook Live, YouTube and your school or team’s website — and authorize your accounts to work with Switchboard Cloud. Add as many as you want and watch your audience grow!
- Go live. Now you’re ready to stream; simply hit the “GO LIVE” button, and your high school sports games, practices and more will be broadcast to all of your selected channels. Share the stream with your networks so everyone can root for the home team.
Best Live Video Platforms to Live Stream High School Sports
Now that you know how easy it is to get started, how do you know what workflow to use? Switchboard Live works with dozens of encoders — from basic, free software to high-end hardware switchers — as well as a range of equipment, from your smartphone to a multi-camera studio setup. Here are three example workflows you can follow, depending on your school’s budget. Choose the one that’s right for you, or let us help you determine what workflow will best meet your needs.
Basic (Free) Workflow to Live Stream High School Sports: OBS
For the cheapest, easiest workflow, all you’ll need is your laptop and a free account for Open Broadcaster Software (OBS). OBS is the software encoder you’ll use to send your video stream to Switchboard Live. It offers basic features and is easy to use, even if you’ve never done live streaming before; while it lacks the advanced functionality of paid live streaming software, it’s a good choice if you don’t have the budget to spare.
Don’t have a camera? No problem. You can use the built-in camera on your computer to capture footage of your star athletes. Just follow the steps above to stream to all your favorite channels through Switchboard Cloud.
Mid-Level Live Sports Streaming Workflow: Ecamm Live
If your budget allows, consider investing in paid live streaming software. These platforms offer more robust features such as titles, graphic overlays and transitions that allow you to create high-quality live streams.
Ecamm Live is a great mid-range software encoder to live stream high school sports. This professional platform offers built-in integration with Switchboard Cloud, so it’s easy to configure and use right away. As an all-in-one broadcast studio, it’s robust enough to support a multi-camera setup, but offers the ease of use to meet new users where they are. It’s easy to add titles, text, graphics and animations for a more professional broadcast.
Use your phone, laptop, camera or multiple cameras to bring the stadium to student athletes’ family and friends, just like they were there.
Professional Workflow for High School Live Sports Streaming: StretchCast
You don’t need a full production studio to create professional broadcasts for your high school athletic department. The StrechCast solution from PrestoSports offers a range of advanced production features in one easy-to-use desktop app. Produce a high-quality live stream, complete with titles, visual effects, built-in messaging and sports-specific graphics, such as scoreboards, starting lineups and team stats. It also offers studio-quality editing capabilities and integrates with multiple cameras as easily as just one.
Best of all, built-in integration with Switchboard Cloud means streaming this professional production to all of your online channels simultaneously is a snap. Share your high school stars’ special moments with audiences all over the world, just like a professional sports network.
Want to see how Switchboard Live can work for you? Sign up for a free trial, or contact us for a personalized demo or streaming consultation. We’re here to help you live stream high school sports and share the excitement with the whole community — even if they can’t leave the house.