Nov. 16th, 2009
By: Doug McBride
Have you had enough yet? I’m talking about the blatantly obvious handballs, the heartbreakingly incorrect offside calls, and the ridiculous dives in the penalty box, where upon a ten second replay, it’s clear that no contact is made whatsoever? There have been quite a few officiating blunders this year, and quite a few post match apologies as well. Some of the mistakes have involved dives, one even involved a beach ball, and what’s most frustrating is how obvious these blunders are to everyone watching the game. These are the calls where a reasonable instant replay policy would make perfect sense. With all the various camera angles and the instant playback made available to fans watching at home and inside the stadium, the sad truth that is that far too often the referee is the last to know about a missed call. With an extra official or three upstairs inside a playback room, professional referees would not only have a few extra sets of eyes and ears, but they’d actually bear witness to some of the many missed calls that we fans are forced to suffer through, year after year. I’m firmly behind a sensible ten-second playback policy in certain situations, one that might avoid some of the many officiating blunders we keep seeing. But here’s the kicker: I think there’s no better place to start that policy than in MLS. We’ve vastly improved our other sports here in the U.S. with the use of instant replay already. If you think I’m an idiot or a just a common sense genius, I’d love to hear about it. If you think everything is fine just the way it is, tell us why. Do you think it’s possible to institute a replay policy that limits disruptions to the flow of play? Tell us how you’d do it.