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Volume 24 No. 216
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Big 12 To Utilize Command Center For Football Replays; Conference Speeding Up Halftime

The Big 12 will "utilize a command center as a third-party, off-site replay booth that can communicate in realtime -- without any lengthy broadcast delay -- with officials in the stadium for all home Big 12 games in which a Big 12 replay official is in use," according to Jason Elmquist of the STILLWATER NEWS PRESS. The idea of a command center "has been something the Big 12 has played with for a few years now." Big 12 Coordinator of Officials Walt Anderson said that the league "has been doing mock command center tests in realtime on game days, but it wasn’t exactly realtime because it was on broadcast delay." The command center "will be stationed" in a building next to Big 12 HQ in Dallas, and will "have upward of eight stations with one or two officials monitoring each game." Those in the command center "will be able to talk to officials while they are looking at replays in the stadium and describing what they are seeing from their standpoint" (STILLWATER NEWS PRESS, 7/19). 

NEED FOR SPEED: Anderson said that in an effort to speed up games, halftime "will strictly be held to 20 minutes." In Tulsa, Eric Bailey notes home teams "won’t be allowed to ask for more time for halftime activities such as homecoming events," as the average Big 12 game time is "now at three hours, 24 minutes." Officials also will "speed up game play following plays that go out of bounds outside the two-minute mark of each half." An effort "will be made to wind the clock quicker." There will also be "better communication between the official with the 'red hat,' who keeps in contact with TV production trucks, and game officials to ensure the contractual length of timeouts is strictly enforced" (TULSA WORLD, 7/19).