NJSIAA to experiment with instant replay in football

Hammonton’s Dayquan Murray getting stopped by Shawnee’s Jon Searcy in the first half of the South Jersey Group 4 championship football game at Rowan University in December.

Instant replay is coming to New Jersey football this coming season.

On a limited basis anyway.

The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association announced Wednesday that the organization has received approval from the national high school federation to conduct video replay “on an experimental basis” during regular-season games in 2018.

NJSIAA associate director Jack DuBois, who oversees football, said the experiment will involve “a handful of schools” that are willing to participate and have the requisite technological equipment.

DuBois said recent technological advancements, especially with the Hudl software system used by most schools to video their games, allow for the NJSIAA to implement instant replay on a limited basis.

“This is going to be minor if anything,” DuBois said. “We’re looking for a couple of schools, a handful of schools, to try it out. With Hudl, with Hudl sideline cameras, we can see how it goes.”

DuBois said Arizona and Alabama are other states looking at experimenting with instant replay next season.

“Minnesota did it during their state finals this past year,” DuBois said. “But they were playing at the Vikings’ stadium, and the technology was already in place.

“We want to start with a few regular-season games just to see how it goes. It won’t be anything major. But if we’re ever going to do it in the playoffs, we want to try it in the regular season first.”

DuBois said a committee will meet next week to begin planning for the use of instant replay as an officiating tool.

“Probably just score/no-score, in-bounds/out-of-bounds and maybe fumbles,” DuBois said of the calls that could be reviewed.

In other football news, DiBois said a committee will meet Thursday to try to finalize a new power-point system for the 2018 season. The new system likely is going to be a combination of the old power-point system, plus perhaps another system or two, including MaxPreps’ Power Ranking.

DuBois said the new system likely will include a “multiplier” for teams that play against non-public programs, with teams that face South Jersey non-public teams included in that category for the first time.

DuBois also said that since some teams will have played seven games and some eight by the earlier playoff cutoff, teams are likely to be ranked according to their power-point average as opposed to their total power points.