NFL Sunday is here again, this week with the replacement refs back at home and the real ones on the field. Although the official refs' calls will be the subject of much discussion throughout the day and a story on most highlight shows, another topic that will continue to pop up across all sports is the use of instant replay. In this guest post, we hear more from one fan's perspective of using instant replay.
Whether you are for or against instant replay, nearly every major sport in the world is either already using this technology to get calls right, or they are in serious discussion to use it. Is instant replay really the right direction for sporting events, or does the delay ruin the flow of the game?
Many people are quick to blame the officiating when it comes to every bad call. Are referees, umpires and judges really worse now than in the past? No, in fact, they are more trained and prepared for their job than ever. The problem stems from fans getting the opportunity to view every angle and multiple replays not only at the stadium, but on their television as well.
Every time an obvious call is blown, it will without a doubt have thousands of views online and countless people mocking the terrible call in the comments section. What instant replay does in counteract that movement. By reviewing close calls, the referees can now enjoy the benefit of slowing the game down and seeing exactly what happens.
Perhaps the sport that has implemented replay the best is tennis. The sport has a long history of line judges making questionable calls, but now in most ATP and WTA tour events, each player gets three incorrect challenges (unlimited correct) per set via the Hawkeye system. This system allows every ball to be reviewed as in or out, eliminating most controversies that have caused outrage from players in the past. Reviews take maybe five to ten seconds at most, and the match is never really slowed down at all. Most importantly, Hawkeye is so advanced that both players accept its review, regardless of the outcome.
The four major sports in the United States have all started using instant replay, and while it still has some naysayers, the majority of people like the idea of getting the important calls right. With as many cameras and other bits of technology already at each event, it only makes sense to use it as an aid to lower the impact of human error. Most importantly, it allows the referees, who are human after all, to get that chance to review and correct their calls if necessary. It might still need some tweaks, but instant replay is a welcomed addition to sports at the highest level.
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