First off, there is no way that we will ever know what the perfect solution is to this problem, lets just get that straight. But, with recent events such as Armando Galarraga’s just barely imperfect game, and the entire World Cup officiating debacle, the arguments of the use of replay have surfaced yet again, and with much more firepower. So, being the great guy I am, I will outline sport by sport what I think the extent of replay use should be.
Football: Football, I think, was the first to institute the use of any kind of replay in its sport. I also think they have it almost perfect in the amount replay is used, however, I think that coaches both in college, and the NFL, should start with 2 challenges. For every correct challenge, they should receive an extra challenge. This would reward coaches for getting the best out of officials. It wouldn’t slow the game down that much, because I do believe that with a failed challenge, you should still lose a timeout, and we all know how important timeouts are in the last 3-4 minutes of a game. Unfortunately, Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid never figured out their importance.
Basketball: Basketball has it pretty much perfect as well. Every last second shot should be reviewed, no questions asked. No challenges, but I do think boundary plays should be reviewed by, for lack of a better word, the booth, as it is called in football.
Hockey: I suggest no changes to hockey’s replay system. Goals get reviewed by the “War room,” and sometimes then get reviewed by the game referees.
Soccer: Soccer, is the only sport in this article with no replay rule at all. This is how it should be. But, I think some technology wouldn’t hurt. There has been a ton of talk about putting a chip in the ball and a sensor on the goal line and I see no reason why they should not have them. I also think, for offside calls, they should have 2 sideline referees on each side. It just doesn’t make sense to me that this does not already exist. Obviously, referees will make more correct calls, especially on boundary calls, and offside calls if they only have to cover half of one sideline rather than a whole sideline by themselves.
Baseball: This is in my opinion the toughest to decide. What they have going with the home runs is good, I think it should be extended to the foul calls too, though. Balls and strikes should not be touched, I think everyone agrees on that. “The booth” should review close plays at all bases. Apparently, according to ESPN’s Outside the Lines, there are 1.3 close calls per game. This would only slow the game down as much as the readjustment of batting gloves every single pitch, or for that matter, mound visits.
I don’t care enough about any other sport to consider their replay rules.