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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2006-03-02

Planning NCAA Tournament Coverage? Read Up!
By Porter Binks, Sports Illustrated

Photo by Darron Cummings / AP

Photo by Darron Cummings / AP

Home of the 2006 Men's Final Four: Baylor plays Louisiana State in a national semifinal game at the RCA Dome, home the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, at the NCAA Women's Final Four Sunday, April 3, 2005, in Indianapolis.
The 2006 men's Final Four returns to Indianapolis and the RCA Dome for the fourth time when the teams tip-off on Saturday April 1. The first of the two semi-final games is set to start at 6:07 p.m. followed by the second game. Winners of the semis compete for the national championship on Monday April 3.

Photographers and editors covering this year's event will find their workspace, though in somewhat smaller confines, closer to the court. Two meeting rooms have been combined to provide ample room for editing and equipment. Because the workrooms have access to an adjoining utility hallway, running cables to the court will be made somewhat easier.

You can order phone lines for the entire tournament via the NCAA Championship Telecommunications center using the forms found here: http://www.sportssystems.com/ncaa/ncaacommunications.pdf

Note that there are TWO forms, one for basic phone lines and another for broadcast and data services.

As in St. Louis last year, the NCAA is making available tickets (for purchase) to clear the seats in front of eight or nine upper positions for those who are regularly assigned those spots (AP, SI, Reuters, USA TODA, Getty, Sporting News, Knight-Ridder, NCAA Photos and the local newspaper, in this case, the Indianapolis Star.) There will also be some other positions, let's call them "way upper" spots, at the top of the temporary seating stands. The throw is certainly a 600mm, maybe with a 1x attached, but they do offer a different vantage point and a place to shoot an overall. As with the floor spots, the up positions are assigned by the NCAA.

Photo by
For those wanting to install remotes, it will be generally as in the past, with all remotes needing to be in by Friday at 11 a.m. to allow for a walk-through by the NCAA. A tip: you'll find it a lot easier to install and find spots on Wednesday and Thursday, since Friday is a pretty hectic day, with the dome open to the public to see the teams practice and other activities. As most of you know, the glass remotes are pooled cameras operated by NCAA photos, and no other cameras are allowed on the goal standard. Other typical remote spots are under the press table, at vomitories and on railings where fan's views aren't blocked. Since there are no catwalks at the RCA dome, so no above court access is available.

Three sets of strobes will be installed by Sports Illustrated techs and a newspaper pool set will be available to those wanting to share time on that set. Since there are no catwalks at the dome, lifts will have to be used this year behind the temporary stands to attach the strobes on one side, and that's expensive, so some charges will have to apply for those on the pool set.

As a reminder, during the run of the Men's and Women's tournaments, three sets of strobes are allowed. To view the rules governing their use, you can go to http://www.siphoto.com/?FinalFourRules.inc.

And if you work at a newspaper in a city hosting a first/second round or a regional game, and plan on using your strobes, please contact me at porter_binks@simail.com and read the strobes rules for information that will help you understand what's allowed during the tournament. These rules DON'T apply to conference tourneys although you might find some conference adapt them for their use.

Enjoy your work in the old Dome, because if you plan return for the 2010 men's Final Four it will be to the new Indiana Stadium being built next door to the convention center and RCA Dome. It's set to open in 2008. The RCA Dome opened in 1984 and hosted the men's championship in '91, '97 and '00 and the women's championship last year. Indianapolis is the permanent back-up site for the Final Four in case a host city cannot fulfill its responsibilities.


(Porter Binks is an associate picture editor at Sports Illustrated.)

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