Change the instant replay rules in high school football


Defensive linemen take down an offensive run. Instant replay would allow for review of plays without any refereeing bias.

There are twenty seconds left in the fourth quarter. Cherokee is winning with a total of 26 points. Sequoyah is not far behind at 25. Our team has two options here: kick a field goal, tying the game and bringing us into overtime, or running the ball into a two-point conversion.  

The team chooses the latter, snapping the ball to quarterback Matthew Traynor. He runs to the side, sprinting toward the endzone when a Cherokee cornerback runs towards him, knocking him off his feet just before the line. 

Traynor lands with his upper body inside the endzone, arms raised above his head with the ball in his hands – a touchdown.  

He stands up, already cheering along with the people on our side of the stadium as refs nod off to the side, agreeing that it was a touchdown. However, his excitement does not last long as one ref shakes his head, no good. Traynor yells at him, and the stands fill with the same cheer, disagreeing with the ref who called it out.  

The incident went viral, causing as much outrage on the MaxPreps social media accounts as it did in the stadium. However, the problem could have been remedied quickly: with an instant replay. 

However, GHSA deems instant replays unreliable; refs are not allowed to make calls based off the instant replay since not all schools possess the technology to do so. Despite the financial problems associated with instant replays, one cannot deny its effectiveness. 

According to Matt Stewart in an article published for Georgia Public Broadcasting, “On the occasion when officials do miss a call, they are at the mercy of the crowds who can see – as well as the officials can – the mistake that has been made but with no recourse to change or correct the call.”  

Unlike others, our school possesses the technology to show instant replays. The game is constantly being filmed, and the team has a tent set up on the sideline to show the defensive players their film during offense and the offensive players their film during defense. Even the school’s new jumbotron allows us to show it to the entire stadium almost immediately. 

“Highschool football teams typically have Hudl video from one or two perspectives. Teams will have the high shot from the 50-yard line, and some will have an end zone shot,” Nick Stevens of said. “Think about the number of camera angles in high definition. Some games even have cameras in the pylons.”  

We lost the game. With only twenty seconds left in the game, the two-point conversion was deemed no good, leaving the team filled with hopelessness during a pointless kickoff. 

The wrong call was made that night, a mistake that could have been easily fixed by changing the rules. Allow schools who possess the technology to show instant replays to use it. It only makes the game fairer for players who score those clutch last-minute points.