Sideline Replay Best Practices

gamestrat sideline replay best practices
gamestrat high school football sideline instant replay

There are a lot of things that will ensure your sideline replay experience goes smoothly on game day. While most may be familiar with basics such as having good filmers, functional equipment, and charged batteries – we want to provide teams with some sideline replay specific tips that we at GameStrat know can make a big difference on game day.

We’re going to skip ahead and assume some very basic things before we give you our sideline replay best practices: 

  • All iPads have been updated to the latest iOS and GameStrat software
  • All devices are fully charged
  • You have ensured there is ample storage on any viewing devices
  • You are prepared with backup equipment just in case (HDMI cables, adapters, ethernet cables etc..) 
  • You have made accommodations for current weather conditions

Though some of these tips may seem like common sense, they can be real game changers when it comes to sideline replay. Regardless of what sideline replay system you’re using, whether it’s GameStratHudl Sideline, SkyCoach, Echo1612, or even Sportscope edge instant replay, these best practices will truly make the difference between a stress free game day or getting reamed out by your head coach.

Read carefully:

Practice and Review Training Material

  • Don’t let game day be the first time you’re testing your sideline replay system or training your coaches on how to use the iPad software. You wouldn’t wait until game day to start teaching the playbook, so don’t wait until then to get familiar with your sideline replay system. You can check out some tutorial and training videos for GameStrat here on our support page
    • Whether it’s during a practice, scrimmage, or a full team period during training camp, try to replicate using the system in a game-like environment so that you understand everything that’s required and any obstacles that could come up. 
    • This practice also helps catch any old equipment that may no longer be working, especially if it’s been collecting dust in your locker room for the past year. 
  • Make sure to schedule your 1-on-1 video call session with a GameStrat support rep to double check that you’re ready for game day.
    • With sideline replay being our specialty, our ultimate goal at GameStrat is to make sure that every team has a flawless Friday night. Even though we send all of our teams training videos, tips, and any possible review material they could ever need, we know how easily things can get missed in preparation for game day. This is why we stress the importance of hopping on a video call for a live training or review session to double check everything.

Setup Early on Game Day

  • Most people would think it’s crazy to set up their sideline replay system 5-10 minutes before kickoff, but it’s something we see all the time. Even though the set up for GameStrat can take as little as 5-10 minutes, that’s not leaving yourself any breathing room incase something does come up. There’s never been an issue that we haven’t been able to correctly diagnose and provide a solution for – however, if there isn’t enough time to even fix an issue, that’s not setting yourself up for success. 

Designate Responsibilities

  • You will most certainly have to designate an operator who is in charge of recording & running the GameStrat system during the game. This person should be fully versed in the setup, operation, and potentially any trouble shooting that can come up. This shouldn’t be someone who just shows up on game day without any knowledge other than pressing start and stop for the recording.  

Keep the iOS Application Open

    • Classic mistakes for in-game iPad operation include: letting your iPads go to sleep, locking the device, or simply exiting out of the GameStrat application by clicking the home button or swiping out. All of your iPads must have the GameStrat application open for video to automatically be downloaded, and this can be said for any sideline replay system due to iOS restrictions for background activity. The easiest thing to do here is to adjust your auto-lock settings to Never, since they are by default set to go to sleep after 2 minutes of inactivity. 


Other WiFi Networks

    • For any sideline replay system to function, all devices need to be on the same network to be able to transfer and receive video. A common problem some teams face is that their iPads sometimes jump back and forth between other known networks such as their school or stadium WiFi. To prevent this from happening, on all of your iPads, you can either turn “Auto-Join” off in case you want to use that network again, or you can forget the network entirely. 

Bringing iPads to the Locker Room

    • If you take your iPads to the locker room at half-time, make sure that when you bring them back out to the field for the second half, that each of them reconnect to the GameStrat WiFi network. Generally, iPads will automatically reconnect real quick, but just in case they don’t, you may have to manually go into your iPad’s WiFi settings and select the GameStrat network, then hop back into the GameStrat application. 

Mounting the WiFi Router Properly

    • The GameStrat WiFi Router is a directional antenna and should be located in your team’s press box area to ensure that your press box iPads have a strong connection, while also being mounted outside of any windows, facing and tilted with a CLEAR line of sight (no walls or fences in front of it) towards your sideline devices. This will ensure all viewing iPads on the sideline also have a strong connection.

Reliability is number one. We hear it from coaches all the time – if you invest the time and money into a sideline replay system, you want it to work. We hope that these sideline replay best practices can help you guys improve your overall experience on game days. 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us about anything! Sideline replay is what we do.

Support Line: 1-800-783-1968

The GameStrat Team


Editor’s Note: The the above story is from our partners at GameStrat

No More Fumbles

Play Football

nfl play football

About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.