November 11, 2015
SHOULD JUDGMENT CALLS/PENALTIES BE SUBJECT TO REPLAY REVIEW IN FOOTBALL?
Judgment calls are still based upon perception, and a second look will often change our perception. I might say that a receiver went out of bounds voluntarily because of what I saw. A replay might show me something I did not see Thus my judgment would change based upon what I saw.
As long as the NFL continues to limit the number of challenges allowed, this shouldn’t be a concern. This type of system (expanded replay with limited challenges) would, however, add pressure for coaches to make tough choices regarding challenges, but that’s not necessarily good or bad.
2. Replay review is not conducive to making judgment calls, which are too subjective
The NFL trusts referees to make judgment calls all the time during live action. Why shouldn’t they trust referees to make judgment calls during replay reviews? I understand that many calls are open to interpretation – that one could watch a replay dozens of times and still not be certain of the appropriate ruling – but the NFL can eliminate this concern by simply maintaining its high standard of proof (“indisputable visual evidence”).
And let’s not pretend that judgment calls/penalties are the only calls open to interpretation. One supposedly straightforward call in particular – determining whether a pass/catch is complete – has proven to be far more difficult to interpret than a number of judgment calls/penalties.