|Lax goals under fire: instant replay coming to MLL |
Friday, September 07, 2012 10:54:41 AM
Caption: Next season, the MLL will employ instant replay, which will allow coaches to challenge goals.
On Wednesday, the MLL announced that it would begin to use instant replay in its games next season, joining the 21st century of professional sports. The league will incorporate instant replay similar to the NFL, in order to determine the validity of lacrosse goals on a challenge basis.
There are three situations in which the technology will be used, according to the MLL press release. The first two are close to the situations currently deployed in ice hockey: one to determine whether the ball passed over the goal line and another which will look for an offsides, when the last player in possession before the goal steps into the red zone prior to the ball finding the net. The third, unique to the game of lacrosse, will be used in situations where a one- versus two-pointer is a close call.
Instant replay will take its form in challenges from opposing coaches. According to the press release detailing the policy, each coach will have a red flag, which they will be able to use up to two times during regulation and once in overtime.
Yet, teams should be warned to use caution in these scenarios - if the challenge is unsuccessful, meaning the goal is upheld, the team who made the claim will be docked a time out. In other words, don't throw the gauntlet unless you're sure.
It also works both ways. Coaches can challenge a play that was ruled a goal as well as one that was not called for points. In order to bring a point into contention, with a few exceptions for play stoppage during commercial breaks and the like, the head coach must throw the flag before play resumes following the initial call.
This should certainly being a new, interesting element to the MLL. We'll be watching the slow-mo next season.