Play it again, HHSAA? Instant replay a football topic for ADs

  • JAMM AQUINO/Honolulu Star-Advertiser Hilo High defenders tackle Waipahu ‘s Matthew Fiesta last November during the state Division I football championship game at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. Among the proposals at next week’s Hawaii Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association meeting is a plan to implement the usage of instant replay at Aloha Stadium for all televised state tournament games.

There has been talk of adding instant replay for the Hawaii high school state football tournament for a few years now.

It could become a reality if the athletic directors vote in favor of a proposal that will be presented at the annual meeting of the Hawaii Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association next week in Lihue on Kauai. The conference is June 4-6 at the Kauai Marriott Resort.

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Instant replay has been approved at the national level, and a national survey shows that 67 percent of coaches and 56 percent of officials favor it, according to the HIADA proposal, which is being brought to the table by the Hawaii High School Athletic Association.

The HHSAA maintains that it would be a small cost to implement instant replay at Aloha Stadium for all televised state tournament games.

Matt Sumstine, who has extensive officiating experience in college and the NFL and who is the head of officials for the state tournament, is completely in favor of instant replay and has been working to get it into the state tournaments for years.

“Replay is great as long as its implemented properly and everybody understands the process,” he said. “If people are well informed and everybody agrees on the process, I think it’s a great asset for the game.

“Ideally, it’s there to change the catastrophe, to correct the botched call (in an important situation), when, because of split-second timing or because an official inaccurately judges a call, there are game-changing implications. That’s the value.”

In Sumstine’s opinion, the percentage is in the high 90s of officials at high levels (NCAA, NFL) who back instant replay.

“They’ve been introduced to it, been through it, feel comfortable, and see that when a call gets changed it’s right,” Sumstine said. “I don’t know anybody in college football who complains about replay. Oahu officials as a whole support it.”

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If instant replay is passed at HIADA, Aiea football coach Wendell Say wants it to be fair.

“It’s got to be consistent,” he said. “We could have used replay in a lot of our games last year to help us. But we won’t see replay this year unless we get to the states. Do we want to not have replay during the regular season and then only have it in (televised games in) the tournament?”

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