New Jersey is looking to become the first state in the country to allow game officials to utilize video technology to review play calls in high school football.
Carmine Picardo, coordinator of football officials for the NJSIAA, said the statewide athletic association is exploring the possibility of implementing a pilot program in which select schools would voluntarily participate.
Only schools who use HUDL Sideline, a wireless program that allows game action from press box and end zone angles to be instantly replayed on a tablet device, would be eligible.
Picardo said NJSIAA Assistant Director Jack DuBois will be reaching out “in the next couple of days” to the National Federation of High School Associations, whose approval for replay review at the scholastic level is required.
“He’s going to try to feel them out to see if they have any interest at all in allowing New Jersey to experiment with replay review,” Picardo said. “If they have an interest, we are going to sit down and write up a formal proposal to see if we can get them to give us permission next season to experiment with replay review.”
The Alabama High School Athletic Association is in the process of submitting a similar proposal to the national federation, according to AHSAA Director of Officials Mark Jones.
The NHFS currently allows coaches to utilize video review on the sidelines during games as a teaching tool for players who come off the field following a specific down or series of downs. Texas and Massachusetts are the only states whose athletic associations currently prohibit coaches from reviewing video with their players on the sidelines.
“If we had a play – say a fumble that was questionable, whether it was a knee on the ground or not – we have now the technology to go back to that play and watch it potentially from two angles and maybe be able to see if it was a fumble or not,” Picardo said.
“The potential to have replay in high school football is there. The technology is there. I think without a doubt we would have many schools want to participate in a game with video replay. If they can get an egregious mistake fixed that may or may not cost them a game, they would go for it.”