A bill in the legislature would compel instant replay in high school playoff football games.
The bill was introduced by a middle Georgia lawmaker, where a blown call by a referee cost a high school a championship last month. The bill won’t change the game’s outcome, of course, but it would make replays standard practice in the most meaningful high school games.
Peach County was within reach of a touchdown on a play late in its championship game with Calhoun last month. The pass went to a receiver who caught the ball, then lost it as he fell across the goal line. The referee ruled it an incomplete pass. The TV announcers and much of Peach County thought the call was quite wrong.
“We’re in the 21st century,” said State Rep. Patty Bentley (D-Butler). “We’re playing football in a billion-dollar stadium like Mercedes-Benz. There’s no reason we should not have instant replay with technology so advanced. We certainly need that.”
But Bentley may find resistance from the Georgia High School Association (GHSA), which runs the playoffs.
“I think there are problems with it,” said Director Robin Hines. “I would imagine the expense would be somewhat substantial. The money would have to come from somewhere.”
“Tell that to those students down in Peach County High School and those hard-working football players,” replied Bentley, who said this is not a case of the government overstepping its bounds.
While the GHSA has no official position on the bill so far, its bylaws don’t allow replays. However, Hines says states like Minnesota and Texas are starting to tilt toward allowing replays at high school playoff games.