Rule 12 - Video judge
SECTION 1. Philosophy and rationale
Article 1 - Philosophy
Article 2 - Rationale
The rationale for this includes:
a. NCAA replay was designed at a time when communication between the on-field officials and replay official was limited. Modern radio technology makes two-way communication much easier. We wish to take advantage of that.
b. Modern technology makes the provision of video much easier. Replay does not have to be limited to games where there is full-scale television coverage.
c. If there is a stadium screen, the on-field officials should be able to take advantage of any view they can see on it, provided that choice of view is not biased.
d. We do not want to delay the game unnecessarily, but there is increasing pressure from fans and media for officials to get the call right.
e. We must make sure that replay is equally available to both teams — it cannot be under the sole control of the home team, for instance.
f. What we have adopted is not new. It has been used successfully for several years in both codes of Rugby football. See https://laws.worldrugby.org/downloads/TMO_Trial_From_August_2019_EN.pdf for how it is used in Rugby Union.
SECTION 2. Scope of the video judge
Article 1 - Requesting a review
a. At the suggestion of any official (including the video judge), the referee may request a review of any play within scope.
b. A head coach may request a review by taking a team timeout before the ball is next legally put in play.
1. After a review has been completed:
(a) If any on-field ruling is changed, the team is not charged with a timeout.
(b) If the on-field ruling is not changed, the timeout is charged and that team’s privilege to request a review is revoked for the remainder of the game.
2. If the play review being requested is not reviewable (see Rule 12-2-2), the timeout is charged but the team retains the privilege to request a review.
3. A head coach may not request a review if his team has used all its permitted timeouts for that half or in that extra period.
4. A request for a review shall be ignored when the privilege has been revoked or if the team has used all its timeouts.
Article 2 - Reviewable plays
a. A review can only be used for a play in which there is doubt about:
1. a score
2. a change of team possession
3. a foul on the list of explicitly reviewable fouls (Rule 12-2-3)
4. any foul on a play that ends with less than two minutes of the game remaining or during an extra period
5. a disqualification
6. the status of the ball (e.g. live/dead, touched/untouched), including when and/or where the ball or a player is out of bounds or in an end zone, which player has possession of the ball, whether a pass is forward or backward or whether a forward pass is complete/incomplete
7. the location of a player with regard to substitutions, illegal passes (including intentional grounding), illegal kicks and handing (a foul may be created)
8. the location of the ball with respect to a first down
9. the down number within a series of downs or before the next series
10. clock status
11. any obvious errors that may have a significant impact on the outcome of the game
b. A review can equally be used to determine whether a reviewable action occurred or not.
c. While undertaking a review of a particular aspect of a play, other reviewable aspects may come under consideration. A review can consider any reviewable aspect of the play for which the game was stopped.
Article 3 - Explictly reviewable fouls
The following plays are explicitly reviewable and the video judge may create a foul when there is no call by the on-field officials or cancel a foul called by an on-field official:
a. A foul that normally carries a 15-yard penalty, including pass interference.
b. Player throwing a forward pass or making a forward handoff when beyond the neutral zone or after a change of team possession.
c. Player beyond the neutral zone when kicking the ball.
d. Blocking by a Team A player before he is eligible to touch the ball on an onside kick.
e. The number of players on the field for either team during a live ball.
f. Illegal touching of a forward pass by an originally eligible receiver who has gone out of bounds.
g. Player who is out of bounds touching a free kick that had not been touched inbounds.
h. Forward pass that becomes illegal as a second forward pass after an on-field ruling of a backward pass is changed.
Article 4 - Injured players
The video judge may declare an injury timeout if he observes an injured participant that the on-field officials have not (Rule 3-3-5).
SECTION 3. Procedures
Article 1 - Equipment and personnel
a. The video judge may use whatever video equipment is reasonably available. The sources of video to be used shall be determined by the video judge before the game.
b. When a replay is shown on a stadium screen, the on-field officials may observe it during a review and use clear evidence from it to change a decision. This may include situations when there is no video judge, but the referee has the ability to request a replay to be shown.
c. Review will not be used if there is no video judge AND the decision as to which plays to replay on the stadium screen is in the control of only one team.
Article 2 - Initiating review
a. The impetus imparted by a player who kicks, passes, snaps or fumbles the ball shall be considered responsible for the ball’s progress in any direction even though its course is deflected or reversed after striking the ground or after touching an official or a player of either team. (A.R. 6-3-4:III) (A.R. 8-5-1:II, VI and VIII) (A.R. 8-7-2:I-IV)
b. Initial impetus is considered expended and the responsibility for the ball’s progress is charged to a player:
1. If he kicks a ball not in player possession or bats a loose ball after it strikes the ground.
2. If the ball comes to rest and he gives it new impetus by any contact with it, other than through forced touching (Rule 2-11-4-c).
c. A loose ball retains its original status when there is new impetus.
Article 3 - Criteria for reversing an on-field ruling
a. If there is clear, indisputable evidence that a ruling on the field was incorrect or that something within the scope of the review procedure occurred and was missed by the on-field officials, the video judge will advise the on-field officials to change their ruling(s).
b. If there is other evidence (e.g. not indisputable), the video judge shall inform the on-field officials of the evidence available and give them the opportunity to change their ruling(s) when that evidence is combined with evidence from their own observations. The video judge may not override the judgment of any of the on-field officials, but may advise them. The final determination of fact(s) shall remain with the on-field officials.
c. An official (usually the referee) may act for any other on-field official who is unable to communicate with the video judge.
d. When, in the judgment of the video judge, a foul should have been called, the referee may override that judgment if he believes the action as described to him would not have been ruled as a foul if it had been observed by an on-field official. The video judge is subject to the same officiating interpretations and philosophies as the on-field officials.
Article 4 - Information provision
a. The relevant official should repeat information provided to him by the video judge to ensure that both are satisfied that the on-field official has heard the information correctly.
b. Normally, an on-field official (or the referee on their behalf) will ask the video judge to answer a specific question of fact.
c. If a ruling is changed, the video judge shall provide the referee with all pertinent information as needed (next down, distance, yard line, position of the ball, clock status/adjustment) in order to resume play under the correct game conditions.
1. If the video judge does not know the precise information, an estimate can be used.
2. If the game clock was running and was stopped solely for a review, it should be adjusted such that no more than 40 seconds can elapse since the end of the previous play.
3. With less than one minute in either half, if the correct ruling would not have stopped the game clock, then the clock will be reset to the time the ball is declared dead by the video judge. The referee will subtract 10 seconds from the game clock and the game clock will start on the referee’s signal. Either team may use a team timeout to avoid the runoff.
4. If the game clock expires at the end of any quarter, either during a down in which it should be stopped by rule through play when the ball becomes dead or after the down upon a request for an available team timeout, the video judge may restore time.
d. After a review is completed, the referee shall announce that:
1. the ruling on the field is confirmed, if the video evidence confirms the on-field ruling;
2. the ruling on the field stands, if the video evidence is inconclusive;
3. the ruling on the field is changed, why and what the impact of the ruling is, if the video evidence reveals an error occurred.