Mountain West Conference Finalizes Football Instant Replay Plan

July 18, 2005

CORONADO, Calif. - The structure for the MWC's experimental implementation of instant replay for the 2005 football season was announced today by the Conference. The plan, recently approved by the NCAA Football Rules Committee, was the product of a six-month process that involved a subcommittee of coaches and athletics directors, the full head coaches and athletics directors groups, the MWC Board of Directors and Conference office staff.

The instant replay system will be utilized for all MWC intra-conference contests. Visiting institutions for non-conference, crossover games shall have the option of using replay under the home team/conference's plan. The list of reviewable plays has been established by the NCAA and will be consistent throughout all of Division I-A college football. Generally, judgment calls and penalties (e.g., holding, offsides, pass interference) are situations that will not be reviewable. Plays involving the sideline, goal line, end zone and end line, as well as other detectable infractions, will be reviewable (e.g., fumble/no fumble, pass complete/incomplete, breaking the plane of the goal line).

The MWC's plan is based primarily on the experiment conducted last season by the Big Ten and is not an "NFL-style" approach. The determinations whether to interrupt play and either confirm or overturn a call on the field will be made by the Replay Official. He will be aided by an Assistant Replay Official and a Video Technician. A unique element of the MWC system is the inclusion of a coaches challenge. The MWC will be the only I-A conference to experiment with that component this season.

For televised contests, a feed from the production truck will be utilized as the video source for the replay system. In-house stadium video will be utilized for games that are not televised. Last season, the MWC had only seven games total that were not televised, and a similar number is anticipated for the 2005 campaign.

"We continue to believe this initiative is an opportunity to improve the MWC's football operation and are committed to its successful implementation," said Deputy Commissioner Bret Gilliland. "Our approach to this point has been very thorough and those involved are to be commended for their contributions. We now have several more weeks of focused effort ahead to finalize details and maximize our training in preparation for the first weekend of the season."

Statistics gathered via video analysis and game reports from the 2004 season revealed 24 games would have utilized an instant replay system had it been in place. In those 24 games, 18 plays would have been overturned, 10 plays would have been stopped for review and ruled correct on the field and 28 plays would have been reviewed as correct by the replay officials with no game stoppage.