Drone Policy

Page 35 of the Gold Book, item 6, addresses drones. During weeks 1-10 it indicates that drone policy is left up to the school.

A question arose during our Sunday chapter meeting regarding drones. A local school has already indicated that they plan to use a drone to film games, or at least part of a game.

Our question centers around how to handle the inevitable objection by the visiting team when it becomes known to their head coach that the home team is flying a drone overhead during the game.

What is our responsibility regarding the drone? I know it is school policy as indicated in the GB. But what if the drone becomes a distraction by being too close? What if the visiting team head coach raises hell because his opponent is using a drone to “spy” on his team (so he says anyway)? When does the drone become a problem for the officials that, in your opinion, would require us to order the drone be shutdown?

The home team can use a drone if its own school policy allows it to do so. The visiting team cannot stop the home team from using one. But if at any time the officials feel that the drone is too close and/or a distraction, then the officials can pause the game and force the home team to stop using it (or fly it higher, out of the way, etc.). But it would need to be the officials who feel it’s a distraction, not the visiting team.