Georgia bill would require replay in high school football playoffs

February 2, 2018 / Athletic AdministrationFootball
A proposal by Georgia lawmakers would require that instant replay be used in high school football playoff and championship games to correct missed calls by referees.

Photo: Brian Cantoni

Robin Hines, executive director of the Georgia High School Association, told The Brunswick News that he’s aware of the bill but has not been contacted by lawmakers to discuss it. Hines, like association leaders in other states, isn’t necessarily opposed to the idea of using replay, but there are concerns. Among them are cost and pace of play.

From the article:

“There is a whole lot of thought that needs to go into this before you could even consider this,” he said. “There are 112 games in the first round of the playoffs. Financially, it would not be doable.”

The number of cameras, the type of plays that would be appealed, the additional time appeals would add to games and review of key plays could all be considered for review.

Hines said high school referees get calls wrong from time to time, but they do a good job overall and receive continual training to improve their skills.

“As long as human beings are involved, there are going to be mistakes,” he said. “There are plays in every game that are questionable.”

In recent years, elected officials have authored more legislation to improve athlete safety or even rewrite transfer rules, but it’s unusual to see them take up an issue like instant replay in football. These types of decisions are typically made by state associations, and the National Federation of State High School Associations already has a rule banning instant replay. The Georgia bill, if passed, would then create a conflict with the NFHS.

In 2016, Alabama experimented with instant replay during a pair of spring football games, but its use never went any further. State officials planned to review how teams used it and how it affected pace of play.

Click here to read more about the Georgia bill.

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