Navy adopts instant replay

Fourth down and goal on the 2-yard line. Navy trails (fill in the team) by four points with 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Brian Hampton returns to the huddle from the sideline with a play from Navy coach Paul Johnson. The call: A quarterback draw. Hampton takes the snap and can't find an opening up the middle. So he takes it to the outside.

Hampton gets a block and makes a cut toward the end zone. He extends the ball and dives...............

Touchdown? The line judge and referee can't decide. So the call goes up to the press box. The Midshipmen will implement instant replay for home games at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium this fall. Navy had a choice on the matter due to its independent status.

"We use the ACC officials for football so we are going to use the ACC replay system," said Navy assistant athletic director/sports information director Scott Strasemeier. "Instant replay is here to stay in college football."

After allowing instant replay to review a game officials call on the field for two seasons on an experimental basis, the NCAA football rules committee approved one procedure for all institutions and conferences that choose to use it earlier this year. The procedure, which was used by the majority of Division I-A conferences last season, calls for the replay official in the press box to review all plays on the field and stop the game. The official may only stop the play if the play is in the list of reviewable plays and has a direct, competitive impact on the game.

The ACC used instant replay last year after the league's athletic directors unanimously approved it. According to Tommy Hunt, the ACC's head of football officials, coaches were happy with the set-up. The average stoppage of time for reviewed calls was 1 minute, 30 seconds.

Hunt said most conferences averaged two minutes. "It worked great," Hunt said. "I think it was successful. I think the key was that we started training our replays guys in April."

Reviews are made from the press box by a three-man crew who inform the officials on field. Hunt said a challenge rule similar to the one used in NFL could be added to the ACC rule book this fall.

As for Navy's call to use instant replay, Hunt wasn't surprised.

"Navy wants to be on the cutting edge of technology just like everyone else in the country," Hunt said. "The Navy program is really picking up. This is good for them and will work for them."

As for Hampton's run? The call just came back from the box. Touchdown! Navy wins.

Are you fully subscribed to Sign up today and get the full scoop on Navy football. Click HERE to find out more. BEAT ARMY! Top Stories