OVC mandates replay technology for hoops games

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Most arenas in the league won't be able to look at timing issues.

By next weekend, all 11 Ohio Valley Conference schools will be equipped with courtside replay monitors to help men's and women's basketball game officials make decisions on close calls.

But the technology won't be the same at every OVC arena, and in most venues timing situations at the end of games -- which is generally the biggest issue -- won't be addressed.

OVC officials mandated on Dec. 21 that league schools have replay technology in place, and planned for it to be set up by today's games, but the delay was caused by the Christmas holiday and the availability of technicians.

Only about half the schools in the conference currently have the technology in place. Those who do can use it, but every school in the league is expected to be in compliance by Jan. 12.

Previously, replays in OVC contests generally have been limited to televised games.

It will be used for anything that is covered in the NCAA manual, like end-of-game timing situations, fouls or whether a shot was a 3-pointer or 2-pointer.

But due to the cost of certain equipment, OVC spokesman Kyle Schwartz said most OVC schools will not have the technology to correct end-of-game timing errors.

Southeast Missouri State spokesman Ron Hines said the Show Me Center will not have the technology to correct those types of errors.

According to Hines, the Show Me Center will have one courtside replay monitor in place for Southeast's Jan. 24 men's home date against Morehead State. It will not be ready for Monday's home date with Murray State, and Southeast doesn't play at home again until the Morehead State game.

But that courtside monitor won't be capable of addressing timing issues, which would require another monitor, an additional video camera and an expensive tracking device that would display the time in the replay.

Schwartz said he believes most OVC schools will have replay technology similar to Southeast's, at least for this year.

All OVC schools already have one video camera shooting every game for OVC.sports.tv, which shows conference contests on the league's Web site.

The only two OVC schools that will be able to address timing issues are Eastern Illinois and Tennessee-Martin, which already have the technology in place because their home games are televised on public access stations.

Such a situation arose Thursday night when Tennessee-Martin hosted Austin Peay. A tip-in by Tennessee-Martin at the end of regulation was ruled to have come before the buzzer, and the call was upheld by review. Austin Peay went on to win in overtime.

"This year most of them won't [be able to address timing issues]," Schwartz said. "Hopefully in future years everybody will get the same technology, but not everybody will have the same technology this year."

Schwartz said he is not certain if all OVC schools would be mandated to have the same technology available by next year.

"I'm not sure about mandated, but we want to continue talking to everybody to see if everybody can get on the same page," he said.

Schwartz said game officials will be informed before every contest what technology is available to them.

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