How it’s done

Sideline Ettiquette at Football

by on Sep.21, 2013, under Are you kidding me??, d3sports, football, How it's done, NCAA Tournament

NCAALimitLinesFor the last five years we have been trying to get schools and officials to standardize their enforcement of the NCAA limit lines rules. You have to be a minimum of the four yards (12 feet) off the side of the field, you cannot go in the team area (which is between the 25 yard lines), you can’t be right up on the line of scrimmage, don’t cheer for your team or a play, etc.

But there have been officials just this year kicking our photographers (who have years of experience covering the events, carry liability insurance, pay attention to the entire game going on around them) back to soccer and lacrosse lines at stadiums, claiming “new rules” that don’t exist, etc.

Why? Well, because of a few bad apples at games. Last year Larry Radloff and I witnessed one of those photographers (in this case a Wisc.-Stevens Point parent) so close to the field she was rolled by one of the sideline officials. Her camera hit her in the face, she bled, went to the hospital and came back for the fourth quarter.
That official ended up with a few injuries of his own and, as I was told later in the season, was not able to work the rest of the year.

This weekend one of our photographers shared a photo of a parent right up against the sideline, well beyond the posted limit line on the field, who later went into the team area to take photos.

Please parents: stay off the sidelines at games. It’s a dangerous environment and we’re seasoned professionals working the games.

When officials come to us and tell us to move they explain they’ve been injured by parents on the sidelines being too close – we understand the safety aspect of their concern but we pay attention to what we’re doing. Yes, we still get hit on the sidelines, but we’re the last people they should be concerned about.

So to my point:

Parents: Please follow the rules when you are given sideline access.
Schools: Please enforce all the rules on the sidelines equally and work to keep the sidelines to those people who have a reason to be there (parents and boosters should not be allowed on the field during competition)
Officials: Please do not make up rules as you see fit. The NCAA has the rules set and unless the lines are painted differently on a field the NCAA’s rules take precedence. A limit line is not a yellow soccer or lacrosse boundry, a media limit line is defined as “12-inch lines and at 24-inch intervals”.

We all have a job to perform and if you (parents, other photographers, officials) ignore the rules it makes the rest of us look bad.

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The 2013 Jake Wade Award goes to…

by on Jun.14, 2013, under baseball, basketball, d3sports, football, hockey, How it's done, Insights, Personal posts, soccer

Pat Coleman interviews Ursinus College's Kevin Small at the 2008 NCAA Division III Basketball Third Place game at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, VA.

2008 D3sports.com File Photo by Ryan Tipps
Pat Coleman interviews Ursinus College’s Kevin Small at the 2008 NCAA Division III Basketball Third Place game at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, VA.

If you’ve been around our website for a little while you’re no stranger to D3sports.com — or more importantly it’s news sites: D3football, D3hoops, D3baseball, D3soccer, and (most recently) D3hockey. Or you’re a message board follower and you’re on D3boards.com or D3blogs.com.

Did you know there’s also D3jobs.com for people looking for employment at the Division III level and elsewhere? We helped make that site happen, and the others, thanks to the CoSIDA 2013 Jake Wade awardee, Pat Coleman.

We wouldn’t be doing what we do today if it weren’t for Pat and his labor of love. I’ve been involved with the site since 1998 when I first put the graphics together for the discussion boards Posting Up (basketball) and Post Patterns (football), but in the spring of 2002 I came on staff full time as the application and web developer for the two websites. It was rocky at first – I had no experience in the area prior to my 21st birthday that spring but Pat was willing to take the chance to push forward and try something new. The first few versions of the interface weren’t pretty but he stuck through it and we ended up bringing D3football and D3hoops under a new standard and eventually launched D3baseball and D3soccer under a single, common, platform. Baseball in 2007 and soccer in 2008.

Pat Coleman during the broadcast of the 2008 Final Four Hoopsville at the Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, Virginia, on March 28, 2008.

2008 D3sports.com File Photo by Ryan Coleman
Pat Coleman during the broadcast of the 2008 Final Four Hoopsville at the Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, Virginia, on March 28, 2008.

We launched a photo service – without D3sports.com we, d3photography, could never have existed. Pat’s support of us and, more importantly the schools, programs and student athletes, has resulted in complete growth in online coverage of college athletics.

Many of us owe our careers to Pat, and for that we are extremely thankful.

We went out and gathered the thoughts and well wishes of a few friends of D3sports.com – a former writer, an SID, a photographer, a current columnist and one of the host cities of many championships he has attended – as a testimony to the hard work Pat has put in and the respect he has earned among the schools, conferences and other media.

Jim Stout was a founding employee of D3football.com and also MaxPreps.com. He has a few words he’d like to share with you:

I can still remember seeing and reading d3hoops.com for the first time during that inaugural season, 1995-96 or 1996-97 or whenever it was. I was working in Kent Cherrington’s office at Plymouth State in the dead of a New Hampshire winter, after covering a Little East basketball game. We were talking periodically about the need to grow Division III sports and the public’s awareness of them. Coverage was negligible at the time in most places. The web was only slowly evolving. There weren’t a lot of alternatives. Kent then said something to the affect, “have you seen what THIS guy is doing?” Kent had a cramped little first-floor office back then at Plymouth and no real desk, and everyone worked at a counter top, so you really didn’t have to get up to look at someone else’s computer screen. You just leaned over and looked. He summoned a page on his screen, and the original parquet floor design for the home page of d3hoops popped up. I vaguely recall seeing there had been 2,000 visitors to the site since the publication opened. “Two thousand people, wow!” We both agreed that was huge, astronomical really. There was an email listed, d3hoops@aol.com. I contacted the owner of the email and the site to see if he needed any help. Life was never quite the same after that. To this day I still use that email. I think there may be a place for it in Springfield someday, as well as that parquet floor home page.

On d3football:
Some people remember where they there when John Kennedy was shot or when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon or when Nixon resigned. I remember sitting in a hotel room in Leominster, Mass., in June of 1999, waiting to cover a summer collegiate baseball game, when Pat made the plunge to launch d3football.com. It’s difficult to imagine this today, but he was actually a little reluctant to do it at first…if not reluctant, extremely cautious. It was a huge commitment and not necessarily a sane one. There was no real staff, no money, no history of success with football, no guarantee that the move wouldn’t be a colossal waste of time. D3hoops was tough enough to maintain in the early days. Another site? There were three of us as I recall on the IM chat conference that day (yes, we had IM back then, barely). Pat, “Sugar” Ray Martel and myself…we debated the pros and cons. It seemed like a good idea, but once you go ahead with it, there’s no turning back. That was the scary part. It couldn’t just be another site. It had to be good. It had to have the credibility of the still-young d3hoops. It had to have the Pat Coleman stamp of excellence. The debate wasn’t going all that well. Finally, I think it was Ray that said, “all of this is true, but if we don’t do it now, someone else will. We don’t want to regret it. We don’t want to be sitting here a year or two from now wishing we had moved.” Suddenly there was a long pause on the computer screen. There was no chat in the IM dialogue box for the longest time. At first I thought there was a problem with the Internet connection (this was probably an 8k or 56k dial-up connection, remember). Still nothing. Finally, four fateful words: “ok, let’s do it.” Weeks later, d3football was born.

On people:
Earlier this week, Ryan sent me a screen shot and page archive from the original d3football.com home page, something I probably hadn’t seen for a decade or more. Two quick thoughts:
One, it’s amazing how good it still looks today. Dated yes, a little, but most things are dated. I often cringe when I see old web designs or old newspaper designs or anything old that isn’t a classic. This is a classic. This was GOOD. I see things today that were designed only months ago that aren’t this good.
And two, to look at the list of columnists from that first season in the left-hand rail, to see names such as Ira Thor, Mike Warwick, Don Stoner, Eric Sieger, to be back again with them – and others – to be counted again as one after all these years is really quite moving…which of course is another reason why we’re celebrating Patrick’s award. To borrow loosely from a time-honored adage, we don’t remember web sites, we remember people. We remember moments, all of which D3, Inc., has helped bring together over the years for so many people across the country. I know I speak for most when I say that all of us who have worked with Pat have had our lives enriched by the many friendships and associations we’ve developed through the sites and through the network. Personally I haven’t been involved in the operation for over 10 years, but I don’t feel as though I ever left the D3 family. The family now transcends multiple generations. It used to be that you’d only know the D3 coaches and the SIDs, and the kids were kids. Now those same D3 kids are coaches and SIDs themselves, and they remember the early days of being covered by the original d3 publications. I work closely in my current role with high school coaches in all sports, in all 50 states. It’s common occurance to get an email from a young high school coach who remembers seeing a name, and remembers being covered by d3football or d3hoops in the early days, and how much it meant. An extended family indeed. A family that only one person could have made possible through his decades of work and commitment – Pat Coleman.

Jim Stout
Media Manager, Eastern U.S.
CBS MaxPreps, Inc.

Mark Adkins has been a friend and supporter of D3sports.com for many, many years.

Pat has done so much for Division III athletics. I honestly can’t think of too many sports he hasn’t helped in a positive way with his web sites. They are the true “places to go” if you want information on Division III as it happens.

I would also add that he has been one of the true friends in the business to me during my 14 years as a Division III SID. Always willing to answer a question at any time and also to talk about our shared love and disparity of the Vikings.

This honor is well deserved good friend. Congratulations!

Mark Adkins
Sports Information Director, Manchester University (Ind.).
Formerly at Norwich University (Conn.) and Wartburg College (Iowa)

Larry Radloff, one of our regional photographers, came on board in the summer of 2006:

I met Pat Coleman in the fall of 2006. I was just starting my work with him as a photographer, and to be honest I didn’t know much about the Division III world outside my little corner of the world in Wisconsin.

My first lesson, learn the powerhouses. So Wisc.-Whitewater and Mount Union were quickly understood. And it was a lesson well learned. After all those years in the Stagg Bowl, I was well prepared to have an opinion on them both. And then it spread, a little bit in basketball, but more to baseball, where by 2007, I was well versed in everything I needed to know to cover them. Through Pat, I met Jim Dixon, where I learned the finer parts of Division III baseball and the storied programs there. Try as he has, I still don’t understand Pool B and C, I guess we have a ways to go yet.

Pat has certainly taught me the geography of d3 sports. Its a learning process, but a path he has taken myself and many others down, and through his love of the sports that he covers and continue to develop. It’s been a great ride, I’ve met many people, future professional players, coaches, even a World Series MVP. None of them will ever remember me, other than someone they’ve shook a hand with, but to me I’ve met great people and great friends all because of Pat.

Larry Radloff
Great Lakes Editor, d3photography.com

Larry: We can definitely revisit that this summer if you want a refresher. It’s a lot easier than explaining the concept of the “throw-away game” to parents and fans who have never been to the Baseball Championship (a Pat Coleman educational video).

Carey Harveycutter, who has been instrumental in bringing countless NCAA championships to Salem, Virginia, shared these words with us:

Pat Coleman and D3sports has done more for Division III sports than any other outlet. I met Pat early on in our hosting of the Stagg Bowl when he was still living in Virginia and have followed his successes. I am glad that after many years of hard work and using his own money to keep it all afloat he is finally making a little money. I am so pleased that he was recognized by CoSIDA for his efforts.

Carey Harveycutter
Director of Civic Facilities
City of Salem, Virginia

It’s a labor of love, but I think I said that already. Not only can I thank Pat for my career in web development but also in sports photography and, really, helping push my technology career that I still maintain to this day.

Adam Turer is a columnist for D3football.com and a graduate of Washington and Lee and a writer for the Community Press and Recorder in Cincinnati:

For many of us, Pat Coleman became a household name before we had houses to call home. He was a writer we first read in our dorm room, or maybe that seminal summer after high school graduation and before our first two-a-days as collegiate athletes. Pat’s passion for Division III athletics shines through in all of his work. He doesn’t just make sure that D3 athletes get the coverage they deserve; he fights for their recognition. He has made countless personal sacrifices to grow the D3sports brand. The number of athletes who received coverage on a D3sports website that they would not have received anywhere else must be approaching, if it hasn’t already exceeded, millions.

Like many of you, I started reading a D3sports website as a freshman. D3football.com quickly became my laptop’s homepage. After graduation, I reached out to Pat, who gave me an opportunity to contribute to the site. It was a way for me to give back and show my appreciation for my favorite website. Pat gave me a chance to stay involved in something I was passionate about, after my playing days were over. He has given many others the same opportunity. I’m proud to be a member of the D3sports.com family, a family that would not exist without the ingenuity, passion, drive, and perseverance of Pat Coleman. I’m proud to call Pat a journalist I respect, a colleague, and a friend. Congratulations, Pat, on the Jake Wade award. Any and all recognition you receive for all you do for Division III schools, athletes, and families is well-deserved and long overdue.

Adam Turer
Mid-Atlantic Columnist, D3football.com

Today Pat joined an elite group of, now, 56 members of the media as a recipient of the Jake Wade Award along side the likes of Dick Vitale, Dick Enberg, Sid Hartman, Pam Ward, Robin Roberts and many, many others.

I’m proud to not only call him not only my brother but boss and mentor.

Without Pat’s support and initiative our lives would be vastly different.

Ryan Coleman
Publisher, d3photography.com

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Way to use your head!

by on Sep.27, 2010, under football, How it's done, IIAC, Insights, MIAC, soccer, sports, UMAC

Around the gridiron the phrase using your head is often associated with a direct helmet-to-helmet hit. Something that is neither a good thing to do or witness, and may send chills down the backs of the spectators, coaches, officials and sports medicine staff.

I was witness to a Monmouth (Ill.) player who took such a hard hit against St. John’s (Minn.) in the opening round of the 2005 playoffs that play was stopped for at least a half hour after being knocked unconscious and he had a seizure on the field. He was taken by stretcher to an ambulance off the side of the stadium where he was kept until after the game, when he had regained feeling in his toes, and spent a few days in a St. Cloud hospital.

Click thumbnail to see full shot

This past weekend I witnessed a potentially similar scenario play out as a Central Dutch linebacker made a delayed hit on the just out-of-bounds on Coe receiver Andrew Squires. While it appeared that Squires was not injured on the apparent helmet-on-helmet hit, the linebacker was spoken to by an official and Coe head coach Steve Stalker shared his dislike for the contact with the official. Nothing came of the play in the rulings on the field, however.

So that’s the harrowing side of the use of one’s head in a game. We’d like to highlight to fun, exciting and remarkable side of the subject: Having the wherewithal in the game to make an outstanding decision at a key moment that seals the victory or turns the tables, or is just simply remarkable.

Their head is in the game and the pivotal play comes to, well, “mind”.

A sequence set of Mellick's forced fumble-turned-touchback on Saturday.

Coe’s Dillon Mellick did just that a few minutes earlier in the game. Central’s Mike Furlong had caught a pass inside the Coe red zone and he had Mellick beat by a step. But he stepped up, forcing the ball out of Furlong’s hands which bounced out on the five yard line and bounced into the back of the endzone for a Cohawk touchback.

As Mellick told the Cedar Rapids Gazette:

“I got burned on it,” the senior from Waukon said. “But I could see he was holding the ball wide, so I just went for it all and got it.”

That heads-up decision, with the score 30-28 in Coe’s favor, helped seal the victory. They padded it later with a touchdown and timely interception with less than two minutes remaining. No. 9 Coe held on to defeat No. 7 Central 37-28.

There is more to it than just making a great play

St Scholastica's Greg Doornink (4) heads the ball over St Thomas' Mike Hutton (22) on Sept. 21.

St Scholastica's Greg Doornink (4) heads the ball over St Thomas' Mike Hutton (22) on Sept. 21.

In soccer, using your head has a different connotation: using your head to make a header. That’s where this blog came to on Thursday afternoon while covering the St. Thomas vs. St. Scholastica men’s soccer match. As Matt Milless wrote last week in “Did you get that?” finding that stop-action photo that makes you look at it in wonder and amazement, such as the header, is very difficult to capture consistently, if at all, for periods of time.

We, as photographers, may make it look easy, that we get those photos a lot if you look at our best works; but at d3photography.com we strive on the quality of the work we publish, not the quantity of the photos we take at an event. I don’t mean to generalize wire photographers here, but there are many who will fire off many thousands of photos in a quarter of football, half of soccer or basketball or a period of a hockey game just to have that “perfect” shot for the game. They may take 1,000-2,500 photos in a given window of a game and run one, two, 10 or 20 photos in a gallery online, a couple of pictures in the next publication – if space allows.

Our photographers work to include all the relevant photos from a game for news purposes, but also for the purposes of the fans to see, and have a memory of the game.

In the St. Thomas vs. St. Scholastica match from last week, out of the 193 photos published in our photo gallery I had 19 photos of attempted headers. Most of them were spot on (by the players) and the looks on their faces and the displacement of the air in the ball is apparent.

As you will see on the right, a “perfect header photo” (just like a perfect slapshot, baseball liner, basketball jumpshot) is right when the ball shows no displacement of air.

But who really wants to see a perfectly shaped ball, anyway?

Go inside to more photos from our photographers

(continue reading…)

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Are you interested in joining d3photography.com?

by on Sep.10, 2010, under baseball, basketball, football, hockey, How it's done, soccer, sports

Are you a die-hard fan of Division III athletics? Do you own a digital SLR camera with a good lens? Are you willing to shoot and upload your photos within a few hours of an event? Can you shoot a couple of events a month through the school year?

Then we might just be looking for you. We’re looking to expand around the country. On the map below, we’re looking for photographers in states where there are NCAA Division III schools, the full color circles are where we currently have photographers, some of them are extremely dense regions (Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles) and we’re looking for a few photographers there.

There’s more to Division III than football. We also cover Mens and Womens Soccer for D3soccer.com, Mens and Womens basketball for D3hoops.com and baseball for D3baseball.com. Starting in October, 2010, we will be covering Division I Womens Ice Hockey and Division III Mens and Womens Ice Hockey for USCHO.com, and we also cover Division I Mens Ice Hockey for CollegeHockeyNews.com

There are a few things you need to know before contacting us:

  1. We have both a flexible deadline and expectations. We expect you to do the editing, uploading of both proof images shortly after the game and the full resolution files within a couple days of the game.
  2. We do not pay per game. You are paid a percentage out of your sales. All of our photographers are paid in this manner and we have been operating this way since 2003.
  3. We do not reimburse mileage, meals or food. You can write those off on your taxes out of your sales next spring.
  4. You are expected to be your own salesperson at events. While we give you resources to help you (shirts, sweatshirts [for purchase], business card designs, marketing on facebook and on our media partner websites) you need to make your sales happen.
  5. We’re a resale outlet for you. We will sell on your behalf, we will provide images to newspapers, schools, other media outlets that come to us.
  6. You own your images. You’re just letting us resell them to make you some extra income and give the fans something to look at and hold on to remember the games by.
  7. This is “At will employment.” And you are a contractor. We will not take taxes out of your sales.

Are you still interested? Send a link to your portfolio, your coverage area and experiences to newshooter@d3photography.com

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New things abrewing at d3photography.com

by on Aug.10, 2010, under How it's done

We’re less than four weeks away from the start of the football season, 22 days to the start of soccer here in Minnesota with a kickoff scheduled for 1pm on September 1st (the UMAC’s Crown plays at the MIAC’s Hamline in Women’s Soccer).

  • We’ve had our photo store officially shut down since the first of the year, but will be reopening it on September 1st, offering shipping at 50% off for the entirety of September (pay for your prints by 11:59 PM Central time on September 30th to receive the discount).
  • We’ve been kept busy during the off season with a variety of non-sports blogs here but also recently wrapped up work. D3jobs.com has received a complete face-lift and software overhaul as well as upgrades to portions of D3football.com’s Kickoff preview.
  • By the end of 2010 d3photography.com will host all of its photo galleries within the website itself, Pictureprints.net will be phased out in favor of this new photo store.
  • Conferences and Schools will also have a new library tool to select photos for their websites, complete with cropping tool and widget add-on for their websites that will make our photos available for them to display on their websites with ease.
  • In October we will start providing photos to a new media partner, USCHO.com, for Division III Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey and Division I Women’s Ice Hockey.

We welcome Greg Kremer of Sartell, Minn., on as a full member of our photography group.

If you know of someone interested in having their work promoted through d3photography.com, or have existing services available please feel free to send them to joinus@d3photography.com. Please be sure to include links to your work online or as attachments. We are looking for photographers that love to shoot for the sake of the art and the game (all sports) and can edit and upload their photos in a timely fashion.

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What really goes into the galleries we post?

by on Jun.05, 2010, under How it's done

This weekend Dave Kisor turned to me and told me that he was really impressed with all the work we put into the College World Series… and by “we” he meant Pat Coleman, Jim Dixon (both of D3sports.com) and Larry Radloff and myself (for d3photography.com). He also mentioned that he used to just look at the photo galleries and like the photos he saw, but never knew how much goes into a game from start to finish.

He suggested we post a video of what it takes to do the work, I figured I’d make it easier on you to follow by posting it here on the blog.

This was our Saturday, and there might be a few omissions or errors in what I report so please bear with me.

1:00 AM: Return to hotel from Friday games. Start editing the games from the previous day
3:00: Put the computer away and fall asleep
6:30: Wake up and finish editing job for schools that are expecting DVDs of images that morning.
8:30: Roll out of bed after falling back asleep and get ready for the next day.

9:05: Arrive at the Fox Cities Stadium, unload the gear out of the car and meet Larry Radloff in the press box.
9:45: Larry starts shooting the warmups of the first game. I continue to set up my equipment in the press box.
10:15: I continue editing those games from 1AM and 6:30 this morning.
~12:45: Game 1 finishes, I’ve finished the editing and DVD burning and labeling of the games from yesterday. Starting to upload them to the server. (continue reading…)

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