The AHSAA has issued its final report on instant replay for the 2018 season. The DVSport Instant Replay system was used by a limited number of schools during the regular season but was available for all games during the Super 7 Championships at Jordan Hare Stadium in Auburn.
Counting the visiting teams and those who participated in Super 7, 96 schools made use of the instant replay system. There was some skepticism about instant replay concerning cost, length of the games and exactly how much you would be able to see among coaches. The hope is that after a year of use more schools will look to purchase and implement the system.
During Super 7, twelve challenges were made by teams in the seven championship games with four calls overturned and one other reversal was administered based on an automatic review of a scoring play for a 38.5% reversal rate. All scoring plays and potential scoring plays were reviewed automatically by the reviewed in the championship games.
The final tally for the season showed 96 challenges and 23 calls on the field overturned – a percentage of 25.0%. DVSport equipment is required in Alabama for instant replay.
“Our first year of the experiment exceeded our expectations,” AHSAA director of officials Mark Jones said. “It was demonstrated that instant replay can work with the limited camera angles we have available. Most games usually two camera angles: one from the sideline (press box) and the other from the end zone.”
Jones said that during the state championships, the AHSAA was able to utilize the same equipment used by Auburn University during its home games. That equipment is also provided by DVSport. That allowed a review of all scoring or potential scoring plays from the booth without requiring a challenge by either coach. “Forward progress or spot of the ball was reversed three times at the Super 7,” Jones said. There was a fumble call that was reversed to an incomplete pass along with one touchdown pass reversed to an incomplete pass upon review. Spotting of the ball was challenged six times, fumbles were challenged 4 times, and incomplete passes 2 times.”
Jones said that the average play took between 90 seconds and two minutes to review, which did not add any significant length to games.
Thanks to AHSAA for its contributions to this article.