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NCAA Softball Adopts Video Replay

College Teams to Pilot Video Review this Fall

By TSC Analyst/Contributor DANIEL URBAN 
 
LOMBARD NCAA fastpitch softball has officially entered the 21st century: the NCAA softball rules committee is going to allow teams to review video and access video information during competition on an experimental basis for fall ball in 2015 and in 2016.

The rules show that this is only a very small step toward use of video replay during actual competition to review calls by the umpire, but I am willing to bet right now that video replay will be the norm during games probably for games in 2017 and beyond.  I'm sure the system will eventually look like the system in Major League Baseball where the manager has a few video challenges to use throughout the game if he/she thinks the umpire made an incorrect call.

For now though, video replay and statistical equipment are allowed during the game but it cannot be used to review or change an umpire's decision.  And the equipment cannot be allowed out on the field except between innings and in designated team areas.  I'm guessing that primarily means the dugout or some other non-dugout location that is not on the field.  Perhaps in the press box or announcer's booth?

I am really excited to see how technology can make fastpitch better and provide a better experience for the fans.  There is a lot riding on some of these softball games, especially with the exploding popularity of the NCAA Women's College World Series.  And even minor incorrect calls can have a huge impact on the game.  Plus everyone at home can see when calls are wrong, so it makes the umpire's mistake that much more painful.

What an exciting time to be a softball fan! Read more.

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