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The Rules of Instant Replay Need to be Defined

At the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby, there was history made and it wasn’t good history. It appeared at the end of the race the winner was Maximum Security, but after several jockeys complained the stewards of Churchill Downs went to watch the replays of what really happened. It took twenty two minutes to come to a decision and when they did it was determined the Maximum Security impeded into other horses lanes. Maximum Security was disqualified and Country House won the prestigious race. There was outrage and outcry that the best horse in the race didn’t win, but what I find interesting is that the same people who were against this instant replay are the same who wanted the NFC Championship game. The reason many people were upset with the Derby result was due to how long it took to make a decision. Twenty Two minutes is unacceptable in any sport. Should the NFL officials who were assigned the game have taken more time to discuss what happened in the NFC Championship? I personally think the officials should have gotten together immediately after the play happened and discussed. Had they done that than the result of the game might have been different.

Last year during the Los Angles Rams-New Orleans Saints NFC Championship game, there was an obvious pass interference call. Everyone from fans to government officials wanted this game overturned, but in typical sports fashion the officials ruling was final. During the offseason, the NFL has made the ruling that possible pass interference scenarios can now be reviewed. The problem with this ruling is that it opens up the floodgates for a lot of other things. Next thing you know it, they are going to want holding, roughing the passer, and other penalties to be reviewable. Football has a lot of rules and adding instant replay to them would further complicate things. If the NFL keeps it limited to just pass interference calls, I think it will be an improvement to the games and sport as a whole. Once you get into other penalties, that’s where you’re going run into problems. Don’t complicate a game that’s already complicated enough.

Another sport that has many rules is basketball. Lately, the Houston Rockets have been doing a lot of complaining about how the referees officiate their games. They did an audit of one of their Western Conference Championship games last year and had claimed that the officials missed 81 calls that would have went their way, but ultimately they didn’t. In football, you have twenty two people on the field and basketball you have ten people on the court. How do you expect officials to catch every little thing that happens? I I think far too often we forget that officials are human beings like us and they are going to make mistakes, but at what point do the mistakes become too much? If you’re missing calls that obviously should have been called than that’s when consequences should happened. I think an official should be subjected fines, suspension and be required to undergo further training if they are making mistakes on a consistent basis. Basketball replays have been good for things like goaltending, who touched the ball and if a shot got off in time. If you start adding other things like basic fouls then further complicate the game of basketball. Like football, I am sure there is a foul on almost every play that goes undetected. If every foul in every sport was reviewed it would half of the day to get through a game.

Once incident where I wish instant replay would have been used was in 2010, when Armando Galarraga had a perfect game taken away from him because Jim Joyce missed the call at first base. There were a couple of things that should have happened in that game. The Detroit Tigers should have protested the game until league officials got involved and made a ruling right then and there. The other umpires should have conversed and asked that replay be used under these circumstances due to the significance of what was going on. Chicago Cub fans can also relate to the pain of not having replay. In 2003, they were the National League Championship Series against the Florida Marlins. Outfield Moises Alou went to catch a foul ball and Cubs fan Steve Bartman interfered with his catch. This led to the Cubs ultimately losing the game and series. They had to wait another thirteen years to break the curse. Baseball has been benefited greatly from the use of instant replay and from where I sit they have the best utilization of it out of the four major sports. It is helped determined home runs, fan interference and whether or now a player is safe or not. Their rules are more easily defined because baseball isn’t as complicated as basketball and football are.

Twenty Minutes is how long it took to make a decision on the Kentucky Derby winner, which as stated before is completely unacceptable. Each sport should have a time frame of how long they should be reviewing a play. It shouldn’t take anymore than three minutes to determine whether or not you got the call right or not. There have been times in sporting events where the game has been stopped for more than five minutes and that is also unacceptable. It kills the energy and possibly hurts a teams momentum. I thing going forward each league really does need to determine a set amount of time to review plays. As someone who watched the Kentucky Derby and sports in general, it was very frustrating to sit and wait twenty minutes for a decision to be made. The use of replay can beneficial but it can also be a burden. I like that it can help make the right decision but don’t like how much time it can take. There needs to be defined rules in every sport for how instant replay can be used. Once you have defined the rules than the games, the league and sports in general will run a lot smoother.

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