Close call in high school playoff game sparks talk over instant replay in Iowa
A buzzer-beater in a boys’ basketball game Tuesday night in Cedar Rapids sent North Scott Senior High School to the state tournament, and it sent Waterloo West High School home for the season.
But did the shot actually beat the final buzzer?
The referees ruled it did, but in Iowa, officials can’t review plays on instant replay, so questions ensued of whether or not the shot, which gave North Scott a 41-40 win, should count.
“We have chosen not to [allow instant replay] for a variety of reasons, one being, it's very limited in scope what you can use it for,” Tom Keating, executive director of the Iowa High School Athletic Association, said.
Before debate over whether or not North Scott’s last-second shot should count gets too far, Keating said instant replay couldn't have been used in that situation anyway.
The IHSAA follows guidance from the National Federation of State High School Associations, which said that in states that use instant replay for basketball, it can only be used in the state tournament. Tuesday’s game was a substate final.
Among their reasons for electing not to use instant replay, Keating said adding that capacity would cost money to purchase additional equipment, which is another reason why the National Federation of State High School Associations doesn't allow replay during regular-season games.
"Schools have enough costs right now as it is, and to put that in, we just think would put an unneeded burden on them,” Keating said.
But Kennedy High School men's basketball coach Jon McKowen said it might not cost that much for schools.
"Every team films now, and it doesn't take that long to rewind the iPads or video cameras, whatever people are using,” he said.
McKowen is in favor of allowing instant replay.
“I don’t think it should be reviewed throughout the game, but just the chance at the end of the game to make sure we get the call right,” he said. “It's easier on the officials. It's better on the players. It's just better for the game."
When he coached in Kansas before coming to Cedar Rapids, McKowen’s team was on the losing end of a close call that stood after a replay.
"Having been through it, if they do go to replay, you feel a lot better walking to the locker room that they did have some evidence with it,” he said.
But Keating said for now, not having replay is just a part of the game in Iowa.
“It's part of life's tough lessons, and usually, kids come out stronger for it in the end,” he said.
Keating added that any change to instant replay would have to start with a recommendation from the IHSAA’s boys’ basketball advisory committee, which is made up of coaches, athletic directors, and IHSAA officials.
So far, the committee hasn't made that recommendation.