The debate over the use of replays is common to all sports. Although controversies and referee-related mistakes have always been part of sports, everyone will agree that games are better off without them. However, the use of replays makes games longer and less continuous, and the fans don’t seem to like it.
So what’s the better option? Here are three arguments for the use of replays in sports, and three arguments against it:
Argument against replays
Replays ruin sport’s historical moments
Sports often get condensed into one particular moment. The final score is determined as a result of an entire game, but there is always one defining moment during the game. Moreover, sometimes that defining moment is the final play that also determines the winner of the game.
Think about the greatest sports moments you’ve seen or personally experienced. Now, imagine that those moments were subjected to replay. And puff, that initial magic is gone. Those are the most special moments in sports, and using replays means ruining them for fans and for all of us.
Imperfections make perfection
Sports are one of those rare things in life where perfection isn’t necessary. The imperfections in sports is what makes it so entertaining; it`s what allows teams to score, it`s what allows the underdog to win, it`s what amazes us over and over again.
Mistakes are part of a game`s lore. It`s unreasonable to ask for mistakes-free sports. Referees, like players, are humans who make mistakes, and that`s part of what makes sports so entertaining.
More replays mean replay-controversies, not no-controversies.
Using more replays won’t eliminate controversies from sports; it will simply make them different. Replays are not needed for most calls, especially the ones that referees can make easily, based on what they saw. Instant replays are needed during questionable incidents when the call is not obvious.
In those cases, replays are not necessarily helpful. For example, in “the Tuck Rule game“, even after reviewing the incident, officials made the wrong call (after making the right one on the field…).
Arguments for replays
Instant replays are natural evolvement
Technology has taken over and transformed innumerable aspects of our lives. For example, 47 percent of U.S. jobs, including doctors and accountants, will be automated soon enough. Using replays in sports is just another aspect in which technology changes older methods in order to make things better.
Technological developments have exploded in sports in recent years, improving player`s abilities. It`s only natural that the latest technology leap will also increase the use of replays, affecting referee calls. It`s the natural evolution of the game. Replays are here to make games fairer, and it should be embraced.
Using replays is the right thing to do
Choosing between longer games with no referee mistakes or shorter games with controversies and referee mistakes is easy; it has to be the first option, simply because it`s fairer. Teams, players and coaches work hard all season (and pre-season) and don’t deserve to be sent home over one bad call. It`s just not right. It`s upsetting, and it should be prevented if possible.
The damage caused by extending sports games by a few minutes is relatively small compared to the damage when a game or even a season is decided over a bad call. Thus, implementing replays is the right thing to do.
Using more replays won’t make sports substantially slower.
There are countless ways to prevent replays from substantially slowing down games. Replay use can be limited solely to cases which significantly affect match score, like it is used in the NBA nowadays. Leagues can limit the time allowed for referees to make a decision based on replays, or limit the number of challenges a team is allowed to have during a game.
Moreover, technology might be ahead of us. It`s possible that while you’re reading these lines, there are new technologies available that can provide referees with the right call through the use of replays, before they even ask for it. It`s realistic to believe that soon enough technology will shorten the time needed to make a decision using replays. Whether through technology use or through limitations set by the leagues, the use of replays won’t slow sports games substantially.
Bottom lines: Is using replays right, since it`s better to have longer games with no mistakes or controversies, or is using replays won’t eliminate controversies entirely, and will take away some of the magic in sports. What do you think