Instant replay could be part of the Arizona high school football playoffs next season after the National Federation of High Schools’ Board of Directors approved the option for state associations.
David Hines, executive director of the Arizona Interscholastic Association, said the AIA Executive Board will need feedback from the schools, “before we go down that road,” and use instant replay next season.
Brian Gessner, who is in charge of officials for the AIA, said that scoring plays and possibly turnovers would be reviewed with instant replay, but the AIA would only have that technology for state championship games.
Maricopa coach Brandon Harris would like to see instant replay used for all games, not just the playoffs.
“Getting calls right is important,” he said. “Not just for playoffs but for in-season games as well.
“Many times calls can impact a season that precludes a team from getting to the playoffs. How do you differentiate the importance of the two? Having them in the playoffs is a start, however.”
Glendale Cactus coach Joseph Ortiz is all for instant replay.
“I think games in the playoffs are so important, so to be able to review them to insure that the right call is made, I feel is worth the wait it would take for the refs to review the call,” he said. “Being a part of playoff games in the past where a review would of changed the game, I am totally in favor for it.”
Gilbert Highland coach Brock Farrel also is on board with instant replay.
“I love the idea of instant replay,” said Farrel, whose team reached the 6A semifinals last season. “It’s important and referees are humans, too, that make mistakes. But if technology can aid them, then I am all for it.”
Snowflake coach and Athletic Director Kay Solomon is opposed to instant replay.
“First of all, who will pay for the systems to ensure that there is instant replay at every game?” he said. “If the AIA becomes responsible for that, the costs they incur will simply be passed along to member schools who are already strapped for funds to maintain sports programs.
“Second, the replay systems being used now by many teams only include one camera angle from the press box, or two camera angles from the press box and the end zone. They are helpful from a coaching perspective, but I doubt the officials would be able to see well enough to overrule, change calls made on the field.
“Third, the time it would take for officials to stop play and review replay on calls would slow the game down. I think most coaches, players, and fans would not like sitting and waiting while the officials gather around a screen to see if they can get a better look at things.
“Officiating has always been a difficult job. As a coach, I respect and appreciate the work they do. They will never get every call right, just like coaches will never call the right play or the correct defensive alignment and coverage every down. My preference would be that we continue to use replay for coaching and making adjustments, but let the officials call the game on the field using their best trained judgement.”