Instant replay for state basketball finals?
Instant replay might be coming to a high school state championship basketball game near you next winter. Then again, it might not.
The National Federation of State High School Associations has approved instant replay for last-second shots in state basketball finals, but it will be up to each state’s association whether to adopt it.
Approving instant replay is one thing. Implementing it is another. Not many state high school championships have TV crews the likes of CBS Sports.
Sure, instant replay would come in handy when no one saw exactly where the shooter’s foot was along the three-point arc or if the ball left the shooter’s hand before the buzzer sounded. It was approved only for use during the final seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime and only if the shot made a difference in the game’s outcome.
Still, the big question is can cameras catch all of that at a high school basketball championship.
Ned Sparks, executive director of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association, said there are many logistical considerations to be worked out, but that instant replay will be on the agenda for the boys and girls basketball committee meetings in the fall.
“We have an agreement with Scholastic Sports Network who will be video streaming our games, so we will have a recording of it,” Sparks said. “Now, how many cameras do you have, how many angles do you have, do you have the foot on the line or not on the line, was [the camera] on the shooter or on the basket, can you use audible sound, all that kind of stuff. I don’t know."
Sparks said many issues will have to be considered, especially whether Scholastic Sports Network would be able to provide the kind of video the viewer wants to see as well as the kind of video aimed at the shooter’s foot or the shooter’s hand as the clock runs out. He also said there would need to be a monitor by the court, so the video could be played back quickly.
“How many times would you ever use it?” Sparks asked. “But, of course, if ever you needed it, you’d probably want to have it. We’ve got to sort it all out.”