OK, well, so much for that idea.
During the preseason girls basketball scrimmage, I crammed myself into the space between the gym floor and a door leading to the outside to try to get some good photos. It worked pretty well that night with better angles on the players.
This evening while shooting Philomath's home opener against Marshfield, I again wanted to get into that position with hopes of getting more good shots. I asked the athletic director if it was OK, and he gave me the green light. It's off the floor entirely, so I didn't think it was too invasive.
However, I wasn't there for more than a couple of minutes before an OSAA game official asked me to leave.
No worries, I wasn't angry, a little embarrassed perhaps, and he asked politely. I know people have heard me tell them that I'm a writer, not a photographer, so I often need all the help I can get to come up with quality shots for the newspaper.
In my experience, there are certain inconsistencies with game officials and where photographers are allowed to shoot. OSAA media guidelines asks photographers to set up at least 10 feet behind the end line on each end of the court, so although I don't carry around a tape measurer, I'm fairly certain I wasn't in violation of the rule.
However, the guidelines say that game officials may change those standard rules "due to safety or to accommodate a specific facility." I think that might've been the official's thinking in tonight's situation. And that's OK, I'll just shoot from the side.