Originally Posted by JohnG
Don't apologize for lack of experience we all start out that way. Here's the thing about football - it's tricky lighting/shadows but it's usually consistent - unless the sun is moving in and out of clouds. If the light is constant you just need to change settings when you change angles. As I mentioned manual is actually easiest. Here's why - when you shoot aperture priority (or any other mode where the camera determines exposure) - if you have a single player with white jersey in the frame youll get one exposure - throw a couple dark jerseys in the frame and you'll get another reading entirely. You can determine the proper exposure by starting there and shooting tight on a face - then look at the lcd after the shot - see if it looks good or bad - just on the face. Then use the settings the camera used and switch to manual. If the face looks underexposed then change shutter speed slower by a bit and try another test shot. You do this during drills. After a couple shots you'll have a decent set of settings. Then you simply continue to review shots during down time to adjust exposures. Always re-evaluate when you change shooting positions to a different angle - i.e. if you move up and down the same sideline the exposure shouldn't change but if you change angles it will. Always shoot with aperture at widest setting, adjust shutter up and down and bump ISO whenever you get below 1/1000 until ISO gets to whatever you think is your upper limit unless you get to 1/400. Don't go below 1/400 unless ISO is at camera's max value.
Thanks John, I was reading this and just happened to be trying Manual for the first time this week. This is the best explanation I have seen for a work flow on this subject.