There has been a bit of talk around these parts about soccer lately, some giving reasons as to why it will never catch on in America. I have read in a few places, FIFA’s reluctance to implement something like instant replay as a reason American’s will be hesitant to embrace to sport on a constant basis (I've also heard other, more prominent reasons, nonetheless).
My feeling on the matter is that instant replay in soccer is, for the most part, a mistake. Soccer is a very fast paced game, and things such as offsides have a similar essence as balls and strikes do for baseball. Offsides has always had a bit of a human element of the game, and while that does not make for a great argument (saying it should stay that way because it has always been that way is a terrible argument), I believe that more arguments can be made for how stopping play to review offsides can hurt the game. First off, stopping soccer at anytime other than half or final seems like calling a TV timeout after a bucket is scored in basketball. It really hurts the pacing of the game, which is such a huge thing for soccer. Also, what happens when a play is overturned? He actually was offsides, ok, easy, but what if he wasn’t and was called offsides. Do you give the team a free kick from the spot of the miss-called offsides? This can lead to some very unfair free kicks. I think this is very complicated and there isn’t a better way of handling it.
The only replay I would consider, instead, would be for moments on goals, such as in the England/Germany game. And in this case, what I'm proposing isn't even replay. Perhaps have a camera focused on the end line, and if the ball is clearly in the goal (whole ball clearly passed the end line) then the forth referee, or whoever is watching the camera (maybe a fifth ref), turns on a red light or something immediately to indicate a goal. This isn’t really replay, but it uses technology to determine things so detrimental to the game without slowing it down. Again, you only indicate goal when it is clearly scored (not objective to the naked eye in real time).
I also heard at at least one point during the World Cup that some are in favor of having two more referees at each end line, to help determine on things like goals and penalties on free kicks, corners, and other what-nots that happen in the box. This I think is the best approach, but how realistic is it to have two more referees for each game. In all honesty, it seems a bit much, and the complexities of the referees working together with the center man would need to be fleshed out.
Anyway, those are my feelings on replay in soccer (or use of technology, not necessarily replay). I would like to hear what others think about this. Beyond soccer, what do people think of replay in other sports, what works, what doesn’t. I think for the most part, college football seems to keep a relatively equal pace to what it used to, so replay hasn’t hurt it too much, and the benefits seem to outweigh any negatives. Replay in basketball on the other hand has at times gotten out of hand (here’s looking at you last two minutes of at least one of the NBA finals games, just to determine who the ball went off of). So any input, on any replay, technology, whatever, futbol, football, soccer, hockey, baseball. Let’s me hear the extent people think this should be implemented into sports.