Instant replay could be part of the Arizona high school football playoffs next season after the National Federation of High Schools’ Board of Directors approved the option for state associations.
David Hines, executive director of the Arizona Interscholastic Association, said the AIA Executive Board will need feedback from the schools “before we go down that road.”
Brian Gessner, who is in charge of officials for the AIA, said scoring plays and possibly turnovers would be reviewed with instant replay, but the AIA would only have that technology for state championship games.
Maricopa coach Brandon Harris would like to see instant replay used for all games, not just the playoffs.
“Getting calls right is important,” he said. “Not just for playoffs but for in-season games as well.
“Many times calls can impact a season that precludes a team from getting to the playoffs. How do you differentiate the importance of the two? Having them in the playoffs is a start, however.”
Glendale Cactus coach Joseph Ortiz is all for instant replay.
“I think games in the playoffs are so important, so to be able to review them to insure that the right call is made, I feel is worth the wait it would take for the refs to review the call,” he said. “Being a part of playoff games in the past where a review would of changed the game, I am totally in favor for it.”
Gilbert Highland coach Brock Farrel also is on board with instant replay.
“I love the idea of instant replay,” said Farrel, whose team reached the 6A semifinals last season. “It’s important and referees are humans, too, that make mistakes. But if technology can aid them, then I am all for it.”
Snowflake coach and Athletic Director Kay Solomon is opposed to instant replay.
“First of all, who will pay for the systems to ensure that there is instant replay at every game?” he said. “If the AIA becomes responsible for that, the costs they incur will simply be passed along to member schools who are already strapped for funds to maintain sports programs.”
Solomon also points to a lack of cameras beyond those in the pressbox and the time it would take for officials to review plays.
“Officiating has always been a difficult job. As a coach, I respect and appreciate the work they do,” Solomon said. “They will never get every call right, just like coaches will never call the right play or the correct defensive alignment and coverage every down. My preference would be that we continue to use replay for coaching and making adjustments, but let the officials call the game on the field using their best trained judgement.”
The NFHS board also approved the play clock increasing from 25 to 40 seconds after plays. The play clock will remain 25 seconds, according to a NFHS news release, in the following situations:
– Prior to a try following a score.
– To start a period or overtime series.
– Following administration of an inadvertent whistle.
– Following a charged timeout.
– Following an official’s timeout.
– Following the stoppage of the play clock by the referee for any other reason.
In all other cases, the 40-second play clock will be used when the ball is declared dead by a game official.
“The 40 seconds after play ends versus 25 seconds from time chains, down markers are set will be more consistent and really should not affect us in any way,” Farrel said.
This has been the age of the RPO and no huddles and teams getting plays off in nano seconds.
“The play clock, I’m not sure about,” Harris said. “I don’t like the idea of the clock being bled out especially in end-of-quarter situations. You literally could use nearly a minute of time for each play with a clock that long. Some teams could essentially slow the game down to a crawl. If you had a 10-play drive, teams could bleed a whole quarter theoretically.”
Solomon doesn’t oppose the 40-second play clock, but he’s not sure it’s needed.
“I’ve had very few problems with the pacing of the game in the past by the officials,” Solomon said. “I’m not opposed to the 40-second play clock, but I don’t know that it’s completely necessary in order to fix a broken part of the game.”
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