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02/12/2019-Commissioner’s Statement on NFHS Football Rule Change Related to Replay

February 12, 2019 Athletic Department Blog Updates

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KHSAA staff is aware of the rule change and thankfully, we were part of the discussion. At this point, there are no plans to implement replay for our state football championship games, which is likely the only round in which we would consider it at this time. There is also no current plans to implement replay in other sports as well. It would take considerable research into costs, facility equipment, and needed manpower before stepping into this area. We applaud our peer states for their experimentation in this area and are equally proud that they were able during an experimental period to try the rule at minimal cost. We are also aware that for the future, that “minimal cost” will be changing to market pricing and again, have to ask the question of practicality.

While we all desire the best possible outcomes and all officials strive to “get it right”, this is truly a case where the devil is in the details. Just because you are in a facility that has video boards, doesn’t mean you have free operators of cameras. As an example, for the 2018 championships, there were three other major NCAA level events on Kentucky’s campus while we were there for our final games, all of which required video that was committed to the students at their institution, as would be the case at any other institution or site. There was likely no video staff available to even operate the existing equipment.

Another issue is always camera angles. For 2018, in our first game of the weekend, we had a catch / no catch issue on a possible interception. Would it have been nice to be able to review? Maybe. But with three cameras on our webcast plus a review angle from our officials’ evaluation video, and professional camera operators, we did not have a good video look at that play. So how much do you spend and what is the cost-benefit analysis to use those resources for three to four plays in a weekend? Those are the kinds of things we would have to go down the road examining before undertaking something such as replay.

At our level, the game is still played by humans, coached by humans and officiated by humans. The professional levels have created an insatiable desire for perfection in officiating and even with their resources and experience, they have not perfected replay as was evidenced in one of their championship games. That false sense of security and expectation of perfection is a real challenge to the folks at our level and this type of change needs to be methodically considered prior to implementation.

 

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