Students from Vancouver Public Schools sports broadcasting program recently took in a Portland Trailblazers game. The 19 students came away with a new understanding of what it takes to televise such an event, after spending time behind the scenes with the Blazers Broadcasting crew.

“The students got to see every component of a typical Blazers broadcasting production,” said Nick Voll, VPS Television Production Supervisor. Voll produces a variety of educational and sports programming for the district. He said the students got the opportunity to work with the pros who put the games on television, on the Moda Center big screen, and on the concourse during the games.

The crew explained how the system works and talked to students about their broadcasting careers. Students also observed the control room and the studio for the local on-air show.  They also toured the mobile unit located in the parking garage that runs the “road show,” or the broadcast that viewers in the opposing team’s city would see. The students also got an up close look at the giant cameras the production uses, and they were able to hear from a camera operator about how he does his job. As an added bonus students found themselves just 10 feet away from the Memphis Grizzlies NBA stars Marc Gasol and Mike Conley. “They thought that was pretty cool!” said Voll.

Eleven students who attended the event are part of the VPS Game Time, an extra-curricular team of volunteers who help broadcast local high school sports.  They serve in a variety of crew positions, including camera operators, instant replay operator, director, audio, graphics, and more.  Although students from every high school in the district have volunteered this year, primary crew members come from VSAA, Skyview, and Fort Vancouver high schools. VPS Game Time broadcasts live on local Comcast cable channels through TV ETC, along with the VPS Facebook and YouTube channels.  This year, Game Time produced 20 live shows, including football, soccer; volleyball, and basketball.

The other eight students who attended the Blazer Game and tour, are part of Columbia River High School’s sports broadcasting team. Called CR Sports, the students are part of an after-school for-credit program, led by teacher Janine Blackwell.  The CR Sports team broadcasts CRHS’s athletics on TV ETC and on the NFHS website.

“Most of the kids on this trip worked more than half of our sporting events, and are very interested in broadcasting or film careers,” said Voll. “It was great to see them connect the dots between what they’re doing and how it translates to the next level,” he added.

The Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools sponsored the trip as an enrichment opportunity.