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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Replay system slows the game down, not exciting

By Paige Fieldsted

Almost every sport you can watch on TV has some sort of instant replay system in place that allows officials to review plays and reverse calls.

Some would say it’s the greatest thing to happen to sports, that it’s changing the game, making it better, blah blah blah blah blah.

Imagine this. You’re at a game at Rice-Eccles Stadium cheering on the Utes. It’s the middle of the third quarter and the score is tied; Brian Johnson throws a 30-yard pass to Brent Casteel, putting Utah within 15 yards of the end zone. The opposing coach throws his challenge flag, claiming Casteel was out of bounds when he made the catch.

The officials up in the box watch the replay, talk about it and 20 minutes later the call on the field stands. By now the Utes have lost all momentum, they fumble the next play and go on to lose by two touchdowns.

OK, so I might be exaggerating a little bit, but the fact of the matter is: Any call the officials have to review slows the game down, teams loose momentum, fans get restless, people change the channel.

In 2005 when the MWC starting using a system that allowed coaches to challenge calls, only five of the 35 challenged calls were reversed. That means 30 games were interrupted and put on hold for 10 minutes while the call was debated for nothing.

Replays aren’t limited to football; hockey also has a system. So does the NBA and tennis. Even baseball recently changed to allow home runs to be reviewed. Isn’t that what the officials are there for in the first place?

Sure they make mistakes, but that’s part of the game. We got along just fine before they introduced replay, and I’m sure we would survive now.

Another reason replay systems are no good is that they give the officials a reason to be lazy.

Sure I yell at the officials as much as anybody out there, but I’ve got to give them some credit.

They run up and down the court or field, breathing out of their nose because of the whistle in their mouth, listening to obnoxious fans yell, while trying to make good calls.

Instant replay lets them slack off a bit. They don’t have to work as hard to get in position to make good calls, because they know if they mess up they can always go back and check themselves.

They second guess themselves and change their minds when in reality the first call they made was the right one.

In fact, since technology has brought sports so far, why don’t we just replace officials all together?

You have the instant replays and someone sitting up in the box making all the calls based on the replays.

Sounds ridiculous right? That’s because it is. Technology can’t take the place of a human official.

For now there are limitations on what calls can be reviewed or challenged in every sport, but if you can review one thing why not another?

The rules on what can and can’t be challenged have already changed in most sports. What’s going to keep every call from being challenged? Where do you draw the line?

So why don’t we leave the game the way the creators intended? To be officiated by humans right out there on the playing field, not a piece of technology.

[email protected]

Paige Fieldsted

Associated Press

A referee that is perfect with every call is non-existent so officials and teams rely on instant replays to help when the refs fall short.

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