WIAA should implement replay rule throughout the season

Joey Femali, Reporter

Referees may find themselves asking did that player just hit the game winner before time expired? Or did the buzzer go off first? Was that player out of bounds when he made that move? 

This is why we have instant replay. In today’s high school games replays can be filmed almost instantaneously. Plays are recorded and sent straight to tablets on side lines with an app called Hudl. The app allows for plays to be reviewed in slow motion so easily it makes decisions very simple. While coaches and players are allowed to view this content in live time, the WIAA prevents referees from using it to review calls. Why would it not be possible to add this feature and use instant replay in game deciding situations? 

Recently the WIAA has added the replay feature to state postseason contests but only in football. A test run had been done at the 2019 WIAA state football games in Madison; it played a big role in the Division 7 finals game between Edgar and Warren/Blackhawk when an incomplete pass was ruled complete and recovered by the Edgar defense. 

According to the WIAA Regulations handbook “Rule 1-3-7 permits state associations to create instant-replay procedures for state postseason contests only. This revision allows game or replay officials to use a replay monitor during state postseason contests to review decisions by the on-field game officials. Use of a replay monitor would be on a state-by-state adoption basis, and the methodology for reviewing calls would be determined by the applicable state association”.  

This rule only applies to post season games, but fails to take into account the other nine critical games that are played to determine those post season games. Not to mention it also does not take into account any other sport. 

Worries arise that it would drag sports contests out forever as every little play could be a possible missed call or change the course of the game. A work around would be to say that in every sport coaches are allowed one possible review and all game deciding changes would be automatically reviewed. 

For example, game changing plays could be scoring plays in football, turnovers in football, buzzer beating shots in basketball, hockey and soccer. These reviews would be done by a simple process in which referee crews would be provided a tablet with Hudl preinstalled with plays being sent to them instantly from a Hudl recorded by either team. 

Most schools have been able to record and stream games during the COVID-19 season in Wisconsin so it is not impossible to ask schools to provide these services. It could also be possible to have an extra referee for recording. 

Instant replay is a vital resource in today’s world of sports in the professional world and in the collegiate world. There is no reason it could not be possible to use in the world of Wisconsin high school sports.