It isn’t going as far as Alabama, but Texas is bringing instant replay to high school football for the fall 2018 season. The difference is that only state championship games will utilize instant replay in Texas, while every contest will incorporate the technology in Alabama.
A release from the University Interscholastic League, Texas’ governing body for high school sports and activities, announced the addition of instant replay on Thursday. The process will broadly follow NCAA standards, with a couple quirks, as outlined in the UIL announcement:
UIL will use the NCAA rules for instant replay with two exceptions. There will be no coaches’ challenges. All reviews will be initiated by the replay officials. Additionally, targeting will not be called as a result of a review. Targeting will only be called by the officials on the field. All reviews will take place in a replay booth, with a collegiate replay official reviewing plays.
The implementation of replay at just the state title games is made more simple by the fact that all state title games are played in the same venue, in 2018’s case almost certainly at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
While the decision is likely to stoke at least some controversy among coaches who might not be convinced the stoppage of play for review is good for a sport where the game will otherwise flow smoothly, UIL’s Director of Athletics insisted the association consulted with a number of coaches and other stakeholders before moving forward with the decision to implement replay.
We are extremely excited to add instant replay to our state championship games,” Dr. Susan Elza said in the UIL release. “We’ve studied this topic thoroughly, and have had many conversations with officials and coaches. The consensus we’ve heard is that our game is ready for this and it will be a valuable addition.”