NCAA INSTANT REPLAY
The Football Bowl Subdivision will continue to follow the national protocols and standard for the NCAA FBS Instant Replay system adopted by the Collegiate Commissioners Association prior to the 2007 season. To view that document, visit the football page on TheMWC.com.
Instant replay is a process whereby video review is used to confirm, reverse or let stand certain on-field decisions (Rule 12-3) made by game officials.
The instant replay process operates under the fundamental assumption that the ruling on the field is correct. The replay official may reverse a ruling if and only if the video evidence convinces him beyond all doubt that the ruling was incorrect. Without such indisputable video evidence, the replay official must allow the ruling to stand.
Eligibility for Instant Replay
- Any member institution may use instant replay, but there is no requirement to do so. If instant replay is used, it must be used in full compliance with this rule.
- For any non-conference game, if the home team is using instant replay, the visiting team does not have the option of declining its use for that game. If the home team is not using instant replay, it is not required to honor a request by the visiting team that it be used.
Reviewable plays involving a potential score include:
- A potential touchdown or safety. [Exception: Safety by penalty for fouls that are not specifically reviewable.]
- Field goal attempts if and only if the ball is ruled (a) below or above the crossbar or (b) inside or outside the uprights when it is lower than the top of the uprights. If the ball is higher than the top of the uprights as it crosses the end line, the play may not be reviewed.
Reviewable plays involving passes include:
- Pass ruled complete, incomplete or intercepted anywhere in the field of play or an end zone.
- Forward pass touched by a player or an official.
- Forward pass or forward handing when a ball carrier is or has been beyond the neutral zone.
- A forward pass or forward handing after a change of team possession.
- Pass ruled forward or backward when thrown from behind the neutral zone.
- If the pass is ruled forward and is incomplete, the play is reviewable only if there is clear recovery of a loose ball in the immediate continuing action after the loose ball. If the replay official does not have indisputable video evidence as to which team recovers, the ruling of incomplete pass stands.
- If the replay official reverses an incomplete forward pass ruling and the ball is recovered, it belongs to the recovering team at the spot of the recovery and any advance is nullified.
Dead Ball and Loose Ball
Reviewable plays involving potential dead balls and loose balls include:
- Loose ball by a potential passer ruled a fumble.
- Loose ball by a passer ruled incomplete forward pass when there is clear recovery in the immediate continuing action after the loose ball.
- If the replay official does not have indisputable video evidence as to which team recovers, the ruling of incomplete pass stands.
- If the replay official rules fumble, the ball belongs to the recovering team at the spot of the recovery and any advance is nullified.
- Live ball not ruled dead in possession of a ball carrier.
- Loose ball ruled dead, or live ball ruled dead in possession of a ball carrier when the clear recovery of a loose ball occurs in the immediate continuing action.
- If the ball is ruled dead and the replay official does not have indisputable video evidence as to which team recovers, the dead-ball ruling stands.
- If the replay official rules that the ball was not dead, it belongs to the recovering team at the spot of the recovery and any advance is nullified.
- Ball carrier's forward progress with respect to a first down.
- Catch or recovery of a fumble by a Team A player other than the fumbler before any change of possession during fourth down or a try.
- Ball carrier in or out of bounds. If a ball carrier is ruled out of bounds, the play is not reviewable, except as in Rules 12-3-1-a and 12-3-3-d.
- Catch, recovery or touching of a loose ball by a player potentially touching a sideline or end line.
- A loose ball touching on or beyond a sideline, goal line, or end line, touching a pylon, or breaking the plane of a goal line.
Reviewable plays involving kicks include:
- Touching of a kick.
- Player beyond the neutral zone when kicking the ball.
- Kicking team player advancing a ball after a potential muffed kick/fumble by the receiving team.
- Scrimmage kick crossing the neutral zone.
Situations that may be addressed by the replay official:
- The number of players participating by either team during a live ball.
- Clock adjustment when a ruling is reviewed.
- Clock adjustment at the end of either half:
If at the end of a half the game clock expires, either during a down in which it should be stopped by rule when the ball becomes dead or following the down upon a request for an available team timeout, the replay official may restore time only under these conditions:
- The replay official has indisputable video evidence that time should have remained on the game clock when the ball became dead or when the team timeout was granted;
- The team in possession when the ball became dead would next put the ball in play from scrimmage;
- In the fourth quarter only, either the score is tied or the team that will next snap the ball is behind by eight points or fewer; and
- The replay official's video evidence includes the timeout signal by an official in the case where the game clock should have stopped for a requested team timeout.
- Correcting the number of a down.
- This includes the result of a penalty enforcement that includes an automatic first down or loss of down.
- The correction may be made at any time within that series of downs or before the ball is legally put in play after that series.
- Any person who is not a player interfering with live-ball action occurring in the field of play (Rule 9-2-3).
Limitations on Reviewable Plays
No other plays or officiating decisions are reviewable. However, the replay
official may correct egregious errors, including those involving the game clock,
whether or not a play is reviewable. This excludes fouls that are not specifically
reviewable (Reviewable fouls: Rules 12-3-2-c and d, 12-3-4-b and 12-3-5-a).
Instant Replay Personnel, Equipment and Location
Instant replay personnel shall consist of the number of persons needed to operate the replay equipment within the necessary time constraints. There shall be a minimum of three persons to ensure that all plays are reviewed in an efficient and timely manner. Such persons are normally referred to as replay official, communicator and technician. Additional personnel may be used as needed.
The type of equipment used to carry out necessary instant replay duties shall be determined by each conference or member institution using instant replay.
- All equipment used reviewing a play during the replay process and the personnel using that equipment shall be located in a separate, secure location in the press box. This room shall not be available or accessible to any person not directly involved in instant replay.
- Additional telephonic equipment needed to allow instant reply personnel to communicate with the game referee when a game has been stopped for a play review shall be located on a side line near the field of play and preferably outside a team area. Such equipment shall provide the game referee and the replay official a secure and private means of communication.
Initiating the Replay Process
There are two methods to stop a game to review a ruling on the field.
- The replay official and his crew shall review every play of a game. He may stop a game at any time before the ball is next legally put in play (Exception: Rule 12-3-5-c) whenever he believes that:
- There is reasonable evidence to believe an error was made in the initial on-field ruling.
- The play is reviewable. 3. The outcome of a review would have a direct, competitive impact on the game.
- The head coach of either team may request that the game be stopped and a play be reviewed by challenging the on-field ruling.
- A head coach initiates this challenge by taking a team timeout before the ball is next legally put in play (Exception: Rule 12-3-5-c) and informing the referee that he is challenging the ruling of the previous play. If a head coach's challenge is successful, he retains the challenge, which he may use only once more during the game. Thus, a coach may have a total of two challenges if and only if his initial challenge is successful.
- After a review has been completed, if the on-field ruling is reversed, that team's timeout will not be charged.
- After a review has been completed, and the on-field ruling is not reversed, the charged team timeout counts as one of the three permitted that team for that half or the one permitted in that extra period.
- A head coach may not challenge a ruling in which the game was stopped and a decision has already been made by the replay official.
- If a head coach requests a team timeout to challenge an on-field ruling and the play being challenged is not reviewable, the timeout shall count as one of the three permitted by his team during that half of the game or the one permitted in that extra period.
- A head coach may not challenge an on-field ruling if all the team's timeouts have been used for that half or in that extra period.
When to Stop a Game
- A game may be stopped, either by the replay official or by a head coach's challenge, at any time before the ball is next legally put in play (Exception: Rule 12-3-5-c).
- No game official may request that a game be stopped for a play to be reviewed.
Reviewing an On-Field Ruling
- When a game is to be stopped either by the replay official or by a head coach's challenge, the designated officials on the field will be notified by a buzzer system or other appropriate means.
- If the review is initiated by the replay official, the referee shall announce:
"The ruling on the previous play is ... (brief description of ruling). The play is under further review."
If the game has been stopped due to a head coach's challenge, the referee shall announce: "The (name of institution) head coach has challenged the ruling of (state the ruling). The play is under further review."
- All reviews shall be based upon video evidence provided by and coming directly from the televised production of the game or from other video means available to the replay official.
- After the referee has conferred with the replay official and the review process has been completed, he shall make one of the following announcements:
- If the video evidence confirms the on-field ruling: "After further review, the ruling on the field is confirmed."
- If there is no indisputable (conclusive) evidence to reverse the onfield ruling: "After further review, the ruling on the field stands."
- If the on-field ruling is reversed (Rule 12-7): "After further review, the ruling on the field is [followed by a brief description of the video evidence]. Therefore, [followed by a brief description of what the reversal means]."
- If a ruling is reversed, the replay official shall supply the referee with all pertinent data as needed (next down, distance, yard line, position of the ball, clock status/adjustment) in order to resume play under the correct game conditions.
- There is no restriction on the number of times the replay official may stop a game for reviews.
- The replay official is under no time limit for a review.
Reversing an On-Field Ruling
Criterion for Reversal
To reverse an on-field ruling, the replay official must be convinced beyond all doubt by indisputable video evidence through one or more video replays provided to the monitor.
Instant Replay System
In 2007, the Mountain West partnered with DVSport, Inc. The MW will continue to utilize DVSport's instant replay equipment for the 2011 season.