SBD/January 22, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NHL's Centralized Replay System Serves As Template For MLB, Potentially NFL

MLB umps previously checked out home-run calls themselves using monitors
MLB's expanded instant replay system next season "will look a lot like the NHL’s system," and that "could be just be the first example of other sports borrowing hockey’s centralized-replay model," according to Stephen Whyno of the CP. NHL Senior VP/Hockey Operations Mike Murphy said, "One thing that a central location does is it brings consistency to your calls." Whyno wrote it is "no coincidence that the move to centralized replay came" after MLB Senior VP/Standards & On-Field Operations Joe Garagiola Jr. "visited the NHL’s situation room." So as "much grief as NHL officiating gets at times, there’s reason to believe the league’s review process" is "the best system available." MLB umpires "previously checked out home-run calls themselves using monitors within the stadium, similar to how NFL referees went 'under the hood' on the sideline to look at various replays." Now, "everything will go" to MLBAM HQs in N.Y. for review. That system "could be coming to the NFL, too," as league Commissioner Roger Goodell has "broached that possibility in [an] effort to improve speed and accuracy." Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau "would be in favour of a coach’s challenge system in the NHL similar to what baseball will implement." Boudreau: "I would be for it as long as it was something that a coach can’t put up his hand every 30 seconds" (CP, 1/21).

REPLAY REVIEW: THE MMQB's Peter King wrote over the NFL championship weekend, he "didn't like" the "archaic policy in the NFL that has only certain plays reviewed." Every play "should be reviewable." There is "too much at stake to see a clear error on the JumboTron and, because some plays cannot be reviewed, you can’t fix it." King: "Don’t say it’ll make the games interminably long. Each team gets two challenges per game, and a third if they win both of the first two. That’s not excessive. It should happen" (MMQB.SI.com, 1/20). CSN BAY AREA's Ray Ratto noted in the NFC Championship game, the 49ers were not awarded a fumble recovery by LB NaVorro Bowman even though replay clearly showed he recovered the ball because the play was not reviewable. Ratto: "The only thing the league can do that will make any sense is to figure out a way to simplify the rulebook so that you're not asking officials to make so many judgments in so many arcane areas that make things that seem obvious to the viewer and to the player and to the coaches seem to be against the rules" ("Yahoo Sports Talk Live," CSN Bay Area, 1/20).
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