WIAA looking at adding replay to state football title games

Kimberly lost to Muskego 24-21 in the Division 1 state title game this past season. (Doug Ritchay/WLUK)

STEVENS POINT (WLUK) -- Wednesday the WIAA Board of Control met and discussed a variety of topics and arguably the most interesting was adding instant replay to the state football championship games at Camp Randall Stadium.

Three states -- Minnesota, Alabama and New Jersey -- have used it on a experimental basis and now the WIAA is looking at the possibility, but it's not as easy as saying, "We're going to do it."

"If the national federation (National Federation of High School Associations) passes the rule to allow us to adopt it, we would adopt that procedure at our state championships, but our steps would be to develop a protocol on how we would do that process," WIAA deputy director Wade Labecki said. "It's going to be on scoring plays and turnovers only and then we'll have to find an official upstairs and have an official down on the field. And what is the protocol?

"The official upstairs will review every scoring play, every turnover and if they believe the play needs longer review they would buzz down to the field, we'd have a timeout, the review it, make a determination and get it down to the officials."

Labecki said five cameras are used for the state title games -- one in each end zone, one on each 30-yard line and then one on the field that is operated by a photographer who walks and follows the game action. Labecki said it might be tough for all scoring plays to be reviewed since there are no cameras stationed on the goal line.

The goal of adding replay is to make sure key plays are correctly called, especially in the season's most important games.

"I believe you have to get it right," Labecki said. "All of sudden they're showing the replay up on the board and you hear the big groan and that and I think the officials want to get it right and this is one way of doing that.

"So, we're willing to do that, it's just a matter of getting it done right."

A handful of area coaches were contacted about the possibility of adding replay and all of them were in favor of it. However, replay would not be used in the eight-man title games as only two cameras are used to broadcast those games.

  • Also, by an 11-0 vote the BOC approved the recommendation to use an electronic system for auto seeding for football playoffs beginning in 2019 in place of coaches seeding.
  • By an 11-0 vote the BOC approved the recommendation to seed all teams in all divisions at the girls volleyball state tournament. Previously, only Division 1 was seeded.
  • By an 11-0 vote the BOC approved the recommendation to seed all eight Division 1 and 2 tennis teams in the state team tournament. Previously, four teams were seeded in D1 and two in D2.

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