NCAA gets high-def replay system for March Madness Officials review a play during an NCAA college basketball game (AP photo / Thinkstock)
NCAA gets high-def replay system for March Madness
Lexile

The NCAA is going all in on high-def video reviews during March Madness.

The men's and women's basketball tournaments begin this week. The NCAA for the first time will use a replay system that captures live high-definition video from multiple angles for immediate review. That means officials will be able to see much more quickly, some of the same replays everyone is seeing on TV. And just maybe, some of those delays to get a call right won't be so excruciatingly long.

"The last thing you want ... is a four-minute delay that takes the energy out of the building and cools the players down and all that," said Kim Jackson. He is director of basketball operations for DVSport. The company is the system's developer.

"No. 1, you've got to get the call right. But No. 2, we need to be hopefully as efficient as possible."

"Delaying a game can change momentum and impact the game."

No longer will there be extended delays in the tournament because an official has to go to a monitor with only a network feed and put on a headset. Then the official must explain to a producer in the TV truck outside exactly what he or she wants to see. It is a familiar scene in many smaller conferences lucky enough to have a TV feed to rely on.

That process usually led to the officials seeing the back of their heads on the monitor while the video was being cued. Cameras showed them waiting to see the replay. Meanwhile, the TV audience had already seen it multiple times.

The DVSport system was used by several leagues during the season. With it, game officials generally have instant access to the main TV feed and three other angles.

The refs have a pad with a shuttle control. That allows them to watch from different angles at different speeds. They can zoom in on individual frames. If necessary, they can then request views additional cameras might have captured.

"The most important thing is that we can get all the angles and make sure we see what people see at home on TV. We utilize replay to make sure we got it right," veteran official Joe DeRosa said. "It's really a valuable tool."

DeRosa is one of only two officials who has worked both the NCAA Final Four and the NBA Finals. He called Big 12 Tournament games last week. His regular-season schedule included games in the Big 12, SEC, American and Conference USA, which also use DVSport. The ACC also uses the system. And the Big East men had it available during their tournament last week.

"Our officials have the same passion as our coaches. They want to make their team play better and make minimum mistakes and continue to improve," said John Underwood. He is the Big 12 associate commissioner for men's basketball and game management. "They want to get the plays right."

DVSport is already well-known to many pro and college sports teams. It offers custom software packages that allow coaches and players to use iPads or laptops to break down film of themselves or opposing teams. The company is based in Pittsburgh. It got into football replay after the Big Ten had a pilot program. Then it got NCAA approval on a proposal to allow conferences and independent institutions to experiment with the use of video replay. That was during the 2005 season.

Now common in football, a replay system specific to basketball was introduced five years later. It is going to be used in the Big Dance for the first time.

Jackson said basketball officials were consulted during development. They asked for control of the video and standard-sized monitors. They also want to see the video in high definition.

"Sometimes they would go to one school and they would have a 7-inch monitor that's black and white," he said. "And they're expected to make a decision that affects the outcome of the game. And then you have got everybody at home watching it on 50-inch HD TVs."

The NCAA will also use DVSport for replays in all Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoff games and the semifinal and championship games in Division II and Division III football.

Division I basketball tournaments will also debut Precision Timing Systems technology already used by most Division I conferences in which officials stop the clock simply by blowing the whistle. The clock restarts when a switch is flipped on the ref's belt pack.

Critical thinking challenge: What can happen when viewers at home can see a replay before officials?

Assigned 127 times


COMMENTS (86)
  • Kiante C.
    3/23/2015 - 08:30 a.m.

    I think is fascinating to see a play happen before the play start for you have a idea of will happen when started.I wonder if this will work for football.

  • ImanB-1
    3/23/2015 - 10:36 a.m.

    For the first time, NCAA will be using replay system that catches,"high-definition video from multiple angles for immediate review." Meaning that they can see the players movements more quickly. The refs have pad with shuttle control which allows them to watch from different angles at different speeds and they can zoom in on pictures. They can also request views additional cameras might have captured. I think this might be way better to determine games, even though I have no interest in sports.

    • AlexB1134
      3/23/2015 - 01:06 p.m.

      Having replay systems and monitors will benefit the coaches, players and officials. During the game there are tons of fans that say there should have been a call but there wasn't one. If they review it the refs can show that they made the right call. During the game the officials make a call that they aren't sure about, with the replay system coming into play they can look and see if they made the right call. It will make the game go a lot faster so that they don't hold up the game for long. If a team goes on a run and there is a bad foul they can determine what the call should be fast so that the team doesn't lost their momentum. Overall having a replay system will result in better games, more satisfied fans, and altogether a better broadcast for channels such as ESPN.

    • AlexB1134
      3/23/2015 - 01:06 p.m.

      Having replay systems and monitors will benefit the coaches, players and officials. During the game there are tons of fans that say there should have been a call but there wasn't one. If they review it the refs can show that they made the right call. During the game the officials make a call that they aren't sure about, with the replay system coming into play they can look and see if they made the right call. It will make the game go a lot faster so that they don't hold up the game for long. If a team goes on a run and there is a bad foul they can determine what the call should be fast so that the team doesn't lost their momentum. Overall having a replay system will result in better games, more satisfied fans, and altogether a better broadcast for channels such as ESPN.

    • AlexB1134
      3/23/2015 - 01:06 p.m.

      Having replay systems and monitors will benefit the coaches, players and officials. During the game there are tons of fans that say there should have been a call but there wasn't one. If they review it the refs can show that they made the right call. During the game the officials make a call that they aren't sure about, with the replay system coming into play they can look and see if they made the right call. It will make the game go a lot faster so that they don't hold up the game for long. If a team goes on a run and there is a bad foul they can determine what the call should be fast so that the team doesn't lost their momentum. Overall having a replay system will result in better games, more satisfied fans, and altogether a better broadcast for channels such as ESPN.

  • chrisr-Koc
    3/23/2015 - 10:46 a.m.

    When viewers at gone see it before the officials and still have to wait it can make people upset and even bored with the game.

  • chrisbop-Sch
    3/23/2015 - 11:19 a.m.

    I think it is a good idea for NCAA a officials to have this type of technology because of before of the delay of the basketball game and people watching get ticked of.

  • josiek-Sch
    3/23/2015 - 11:56 a.m.

    Wow I think it's great that were using technology to the best of our abilities! I think all sports should begin to develop this sort of system to help them too!

  • JakeP-Kut
    3/23/2015 - 12:11 p.m.

    It is good that college basketball is getting a better replay system. Now with the better replay systems they wont have to look at a small black and white screen but now they will look at a high definition screen. The refs will have a better look at the replay so they don't make a bad call or give the other team a good call that wasn't the right call.

  • JackR-5
    3/23/2015 - 12:21 p.m.

    The ncaa is now using a high definition camera to review plays. They want to be as efficient as possible to keep momentum in the game. The new cameras make reviewing very fast. The pictures come out quick, and far clearer than black and white moniters. The company that makes them has a wide variety of technology. I think that this will make games much quicker and allow for fewer commercials. This should be a major update for basketball.

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