SBD/June 13, 2012/Colleges

Instant Replay To Be Introduced At College World Series, But Only For Home Runs

Instant replay will be used during College World Series on potential home runs
The upcoming College World Series will introduce instant replay, but for now, only “an umpire's call on whether a home run really is a home run will be subject to video review," according to Eric Olson of the AP. Umpires at the CWS, which starts Friday, “will be limited to reviewing whether a batted ball has cleared the fence, gone foul or if a fan has interfered.” NCAA VP/Football & Baseball Dennis Poppe yesterday said, "Let's walk before we run. Let's make sure we have down the crucial issues, and there probably is no more crucial issue than the home run." Poppe said that instant replay “couldn't be used in the regular season or regionals because not all games are televised.” Though super regionals are televised, some stadiums “don't have easily accessible areas where umpires can review video.” ESPN provides “more than a dozen camera angles at the CWS,” and 2-year-old TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha “easily accommodates a review area.” UCLA coach John Savage said that he “wouldn't want the use of instant replay expanded beyond home-run calls.” Savage: "We shouldn't use it for balls and strikes or safe or out. If we used it for everything, it would slow the game down too much. But I think the way they want to use it is fair, and in the end they all want to get it right." Olson noted the use of instant replay “will be left to the discretion of the umpire crew chief and must occur before the next pitch or play.” There “won't be a formal ‘coaches challenge’ opportunity, though under college rules coaches are able to request a conference among umpires” (AP, 6/12). In Omaha, Jon Nyatawa noted if the umpires decide to use video to review a home run at this year’s CWS, “it would be a first for those involved.” There “haven’t been any trial runs,” and there is “no hands-on experimentation.” (OMAHA.com, 6/12).
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