Monday, May 11, 2009

Suggestion for Instant Reply: Goaltending Calls

During yesterday's Boston-Orlando Game 4, I counted at least 4 plays at the basket that were very difficult for the officials to make. Instant reply showed that at least 3 of them may have gone the wrong way. There was the obvious, like Rajon Rondo's goaltend of Mikael Pietrus' layup after the ball had clearly hit the glass; this play resulted in at least a 1 point change (two if you assume Pietrus to hit the resulting and-1 free-throw). There was the difficult, like Dwight Howard's grab of a Rajon Rondo teardrop that appeared to be well short of the rim. Then there was Pietrus' clean shotblock of Ray Allen near the end of the first quarter, a ball that was quite obviously still on the way up. Plays like these are just as bang-bang, and just as reviewable, as other plays that are now up for review on instant replay.

Think about it: much like the current instant-replay rules for 3-point shots, goaltending calls are merely about adjusting the score during the game. Much like the 3-point calls, the officials can mark plays to be reviewed at the next dead-ball timeout. Calls that are deemed incorrect can be adjusted accordingly.

In this game, we're talking about the questionable difference of 5-7 points in a game that was decided by 1 point. Certainly this is something for the rules committee to at least consider in the off-season. At least, that's the view from here on Mars.

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