Instant replay to come to SDHSAA championships?
It's common for controversy to surround big football games. However, the South Dakota High School Activities Association could be taking a step to ensure that outrage over calls made by officials in the South Dakota state championships is kept at...
It's common for controversy to surround big football games.
However, the South Dakota High School Activities Association could be taking a step to ensure that outrage over calls made by officials in the South Dakota state championships is kept at a minimum.
At the annual football advisory meeting in November, the seven committee members unanimously voted to start the process of incorporating a "National Federation of State High School Associations National Rules Experiment," which includes the use of instant replay during SDHSAA championship football games.
Replays would come with the assistance of South Dakota Public Broadcasting, and model a booth-only review set up.
"It obviously wouldn't be like anything like the NFL or college, there's just not as many cameras," said Vern Smith, Gettysburg athletic director and advisory committee member. "But if we had the means of fixing a mistake, maybe a fumble or an interception, we thought, 'Shouldn't we attempt to make something right that would otherwise be wrong?' "
The use of replay is still far from being set in stone. The motion will have to be passed at the South Dakota athletic directors meeting later this spring. If approved, it will be presented to the SDHSAA board of directors for a final decision.
"At the advisory committee, they bring up different points, whether it be concerns of coaches, athletic directors or officials," Smith said. "We talk about them and see if they are worthy of moving on to the athletic directors meeting."
Should the idea make it through the board of directors, Smith said there is still no timetable for when it would be carried out. He added new rules typically don't go into effect until the following season from when the rule is passed, but a timetable to implement a change depends on the issue.
"It depends on how it is proposed," Smith said. "Some of the things that are proposed take more discussion. It will take longer to actually enact it, rather than something that is just a logistics factor. I, myself, don't know when it would, there hasn't been a date of enactment brought up in any discussion."
Mitchell Kernels head football coach Kent VanOverschelde said he is in favor of instant replay because it would be one less thing for coaches to worry about.
"A tool like instant replay can only add to the cooperation and professionalism of the officials in our state," VanOverschelde said. "Instant replay provides that level of confidence or assurance so that coaches can coach, and players play. That allows for the fans to be focused on supporting the competing teams."
Howard head coach Pat Ruml, who helped guide the Tigers to a Class 9A state championship this season, said instant replay could be very useful in the state championships.
"If you want to get the call right, (this) makes sense," Ruml said. "This year, there were a lot of close games where the last possessions made a difference. As long as they get the call right, that's the most important part of it."
That being said, Ruml also said he could understand if coaches or fans were opposed to the movement.
"Our games are already so long, about three hours," Ruml said. "Instant replay could make the game even longer."