Careful what you ask for!

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS January 2, 2017 #626 Up… Careful what you ask for!

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS January 2, 2017 #626 Up next…Careful What You Ask For!

After further review… As we begin a new year what can we expect from our sports world as it searches for perfection? Will our well-paid professional athletes perform without error? Will video replay correct all misdeeds? Can we excuse our amateur athletes (little league to college student-athletes) from on-field errors? Can we expect them to give their best effort with their will and determination, although perhaps faltering along the way? Careful what you ask for!

As professional sports leagues search for perfection through video replay, careful consideration must be given to the integrity of the game. Since the use of video replay is well embedded in our living rooms, sports leagues need to maintain a balance for what the fan wants and what is best to ensure that the game is well managed. Some sports purists have long insisted that all decisions be kept on the field/court. The opinion here is that those purists have already lost that battle. If the fan at home can see replay after replay and decide on a fumble or score, why shouldn’t sports supervisors use it to ensure perfection? Careful what you ask for!

Football, basketball and baseball as well as others are under fan pressure to ensure accuracy. Professional golf ran up against an issue when fans at home caught a rules violation that on-course rules officials missed, and contacted the on-course authorities to have it corrected. Golf ruled that out. Replay, for better or worse, is here to stay.

In some sports, there is a call that all fouls/violations be reviewed, if a coach wants to challenge it. Careful what you ask for! Fans are unhappy with the time-delay in the video review. On-field officials are of the same thinking. Don’t get me wrong. Every official I have known in my six decades of officiating not only wants to correct errant calls, but more importantly wants to make the call correctly the first time, i.e., perfection. While perfection may be unlikely, seeking it may attain excellence in the process.

NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB now all have command centers (or similar names), where questionable calls are decided therein and not on the field or court. Careful what you ask for!

Will you log in your thoughts about the use of video replay in this coming year?

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