The Maine Principals’ Association’s Basketball Committee approved a plan Tuesday for the use of video replay at the end of the high school basketball tournament games.
If approved by the MPA’s general membership at its April 27 meeting, video replay will be allowed, if available, to determine if a shot was taken before time expires – but only at the end of the fourth quarter and the end of overtime periods. Replay also could be used to determine if the shot was a 2- or 3-pointer.
The rule mirrors the video replay rule of the National Federation of State High School Associations, said Mike Burnham, executive director of the MPA’s Interscholastic Division.
Some hurdles remain, however, in how the replays will be used.
TJ Halliday, the state coordinator of game officials, said basketball refs met on Monday and supported the rule change. But the game officials emphasized that review protocols should be set in place along with the option of video review. Officials should get together first to see if they’re in agreement on the call, they said, and a determination must be made as to where officials can check the official time.
In two recent buzzer-beater situations – the Class C North boys’ championship game between Dexter and Central Aroostook in 2020 and a Class AA South boys’ semifinal between Bonny Eagle and Thornton Academy in February – the red LED light on the backboard went off signifying the end of the game, while the scoreboard indicated fractions of a second left.
“Situations were encountered and aren’t really covered by rules,” Halliday said. “It can cause confusion.”
If all three game officials agree after conferring, they can choose not to look at the replay. Bonny Eagle Athletic Director Eric Curtis said in those situations, replay should be used, if only to confirm the unanimous decision by the officials.
“If the three officials agree, what’s the harm, if it’s that close, of going to the table as well?” Curtis said.
Halliday said it could be possible for officials to automatically check on any shot in flight at the buzzer. Whatever review happens, it must be done quickly. It’s all about easing anxiety for everyone involved at that point, Halliday said.
Burnham stressed that video replay should be limited to end-of-game shots. Burnham cited the NCAA basketball replay model – in which everything from shots to fouls is reviewed – as exactly what the MPA does not want to adopt.
“We don’t want to open this up to review everything at the end (of games),” Burnham said.
This story will be updated.
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