COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Instant replay hits Big Sky football
PARK CITY, Utah -- Second-year UND football coach Bubba Schweigert will have a new weapon on his side come this fall. He can challenge plays now. Replay for football and basketball officials will be available for every game held in a Big Sky Conf...
PARK CITY, Utah -- Second-year UND football coach Bubba Schweigert will have a new weapon on his side come this fall.
He can challenge plays now.
Replay for football and basketball officials will be available for every game held in a Big Sky Conference venue in 2015, the league announced.
The Big Sky has signed an agreement with DVSport to provide equipment at all 13 league football stadiums and 12 basketball arenas.
Replay will be primarily paid for by the conference’s reserve fund, which will pay almost $500,000, according to Big Sky Conference Deputy Commissioner Ron Loghry, who was attending the Big Sky football’s annual preseason meetings on Sunday.
“The biggest hurdle was the financial part,” said Loghry. “We’ve talked to the athletic directors and the presidents and this is what the conference needs to do.”
Replay is currently used in every Football Bowl Subdivision conference and in the Football Championship Subdivision postseason. Several FCS conferences are implementing replay for some or all games during the 2015 regular season.
Over the past several months, Big Sky schools have been prepping areas in their respective arenas to be used for replay equipment and personnel. Big Sky director of football officials Karl Richins has identified, hired and trained specific replay officials that will travel throughout the year with the same seven-man officiating crews.
The agreement with DVSport will provide some uniformity, especially in basketball, where replay logistics differed across programs.
In football, costs for individual schools differed across the board, depending on availability of space and whether or not the school’s football arena was owned by the university.
The replay center cannot be housed in the press box. At the Alerus Center, for example, the transition was fairly smooth, according to Loghry.
The Alerus provided an available room and was already equipped with the proper wiring.
Loghry said most coaches are on board with the replay movement, although some concerns exist from programs that would like to run an uptempo offense.
However, Loghry countered that DVSport has technology that allows replay officials to view four angles of the same play simultaneously. That wasn’t the case in the past with the older technology, he said.
The multiple angles have quickened the review process, Loghry said.
“The other concern is the newness of it,” Loghry said. “A lot of coaches haven’t been involved with this.”
Loghry said officials are stressing to the coaches that every play is reviewed and coaches only have one challenge. If that challenge is successful, the coach is allowed another challenge. He said coaches might be over-zealous with the challenge flags initially.
“Our coaches will learn over time,” Loghry said. “Our officials stressed to think about game-changing plays.”