Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › Input needed for sports shooting › I usually tell people to buy
I usually tell people to buy the best tripod you can afford – especially if they intend to make money with it over time. A good video tripod will last you forever (almost.) I have a Manfrotto two stage tripod with a Bogens 501 head and I’ve been using it for the last 16 years. It’s seen 5 different cameras and will long outlive my current camera.
That being said, for what you’re describing I would suggest something in the $150 range.
Check out B&H tripods under their video support section (stay away from photography specific tripods.) They have great write-ups on each product and a load of reviews.
The Magnus VT-4000 would do the job you want at a fair price. The Davis & Sanford ProVista 7518 would also do well for you.
For about twice that, the Manfrotto MVH500A Fluid Drag Video Head with MVT502AM Tripod and Carry Bag is something to consider. But honestly, unless you plan on using a tripod professionally there is truly no need to spend any more than this.
Whatever your choose, just make sure you get a fluid head to get the smoothest pan and tilt and mid-level spreaders to make it easier to set up on bleachers/un-level surfaces.