DESTIN, Fla. – The days of the SEC using one replay official to review a play are over.
Beginning this season, the SEC will institute a collaborative instant replay process in which multiple referees will be a part of the process to review plays on the field.
This new replay system will occur at each SEC home game, whether it’s during conference or non-conference games. A total of four officials will now be reviewing a questionable call instead of just the one on-site official who was doing so previously.
“Our goal is to continue to use the best available resources to support correct outcomes when instant replay is used,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said. “We believe the collaborative effort, which will involve additional officiating experts during replay reviews, will enhance the conference’s football officiating program. I believe this update to the instant replay review process will better support football officiating in the SEC through the use of technology.”
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How collaborative replay will work is that one official will still be at each game in a booth to decide if a play should be reviewed. From there, three replay officials will be at the SEC Video Center in Birmingham, Alabama to talk over the play with the on-site official.
While the replay officials at the SEC Video Center will be able to alert the on-site official to stop a game for review, it is still up to the official at the SEC venue to alert the head referee on the field that a replay is needed.
If there is a 2-2 tie among the four officials reviewing a play, the final say will go to the replay official at the venue.
The new collaborative replay system was tested at Alabama’s spring game and will be rolled out this fall.
“This is an important and positive step for our officiating program and I look forward to implementing our plan to combine advanced technology with officiating expertise,” SEC coordinator of football officials Steve Shaw said. “Our successful test in the spring gave us the comfort level to move forward with execution of the plan for this fall.”