People have said we need extra video streaming technology and extra staff, that it makes events run behind, and that it undermines the head ref.
But many events are already streamed. Looking at footage that already exists is free and easy.
And it’s free and easy for the head referee as well. There’s no reason extra staff would be necessary.
As for time, how many lengthy huddles and discussions have we all witnessed because the refs disagree with the students or which each other about factually what happened? The fact is that in the fast paced, very close, high stakes matches that have become a staple of states and worlds, game changing events occur in the blink of an eye. Things like 5.1 second pins, match affecting tipping or entanglement, etc. can’t always be spotted by a ref, even if they do everything right. And the ensuing 20 minute discussions take a lot longer than reviewing a few seconds of video footage ever could.
In 2010, major league baseball starting pitcher Armando Galarraga retired 26 batters in a row, 1 out from throwing a perfect game. He would have become one of the 23 pitchers to throw a perfect game in the 140 years of baseball’s history. But instead, first base umpire Jim Joyce made one of the most famous incorrect calls in the history of the game. On a routine ground ball to the first baseman, in which he worked with Galarraga to beat the runner by half a step, Joyce called the 27th potential out safe, ruining the perfect game. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlDTBDJbNE4
Galarraga smiled when Joyce miscalled the play, handled the situation calmly, and retired the next batter. And after the game, Joyce reviewed the footage and publicly and privately apologized. But the damage was done. Was this incident a “learning experience” or an act of “gracious professionalism?” Or was this a heart breaking mistake in which an imperfect human did everything in his power to make the right call, but still got it wrong, and ruined something truly spectacular? Seeing as this incident was a major factor in MLB’s decision to implement a video replay system 4 years later, most of us would argue the second.
If the RECF and the mentors and EPs on the forums are going to hold student competitors to (and in some cases beyond) the ethical standards of professionals, why can’t we expect this same professionalism in our judging? If 448X can get a season long disqualification for their reaction to a ref’s call at the state championship, can we at least expect that the ref’s call was correct?