A few days ago, the Alabama High School Athletics Association (AHSAA) approved the use of instant replay beggining this fall in Alabama high school football.
Wait, hold up! The AHSAA is a member of the National Federation of State High School Associations, and the Federation does not permit its association members from using instant replay! So why did the AHSAA get to adopt instant replay? The Federation granted a three year waiver to allow instant replay in Alabama.
Will North Carolina follow suit? More importantly, should North Carolina follow suit or should they keep the status quo? Let's look at a few issues.
Some may argue that officiating will benefit should the NCHSAA eventually adopt instant replay. But truthfully, would this really happen? After all, you would most likely be adding another referee to the mix (and the supply of refs within the state is by no means overwhelming).
Costs (part 1)
In this section, I'll add start up costs and routine maintenance costs. It takes money to buy the necessary equipment. In addition, you "get what you pay for" meaning that not all equipment should be deemed equal. How much does a functional system cost? How will it be maintained? How will the equipment be stored?
Costs (part 2)
Now let's look at the opportunity costs. If we buy this equipment, would this prevent us from paying our coaches what they deserve? As one defensive coordinator once told me, making less than $1/hour over a season shows our commitment (or there lackof) to our coaches. Do we have more important things we could use our money with? Not only paying our coaches enough but how about proper safety? Are all games across the state safe to attend?
Will we see smaller schools (specifically 1A and 2A) close up shop if they have to pay for the additional expenses incurred by implementing an instant replay system?
Flow of the game
Some games already last 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Do we want to increase the time a game will last? Is overturning a handful of plays in a given game worth adding an additional 10-15 minutes for the spectator?
Integrity of the game
After all, this is high school football. Are we taking high school football too seriously if we implement instant replay?
There are several more issues, including why do we want to follow the lead of the AHSAA. The football culture in Alabama is much different than the football culture in North Carolina. In many areas within the Tar Heel state, football is not a big part of the culture. In Alabama, football is more of a religion.
This is a fun topic to consider. Right now, I'm not supporting instant replay for high school football. However, that doesn't mean that instant replay has no use within high school football. One day I might change my mind. However, since the NFL and college implemented instant replay, I have not been a fan. Maybe one day I will change my mind.
Share with us your opinion.