Posts Tagged ‘replay center’

Replay Center to determine some review outcomes

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — NBA replay is getting another makeover.

Looking to cut down on the amount of time dedicated to replay reviews, the league is putting officials in the Replay Center in Secaucus, and those officials will have the authority to make determinations on certain replays during the course of games.

Here’s a portion of the official release, which was sent out Wednesday afternoon and includes a full list of what replay situations will be reviewed in Secaucus…

All replay reviews will continue to be triggered by the referees on the court. Once triggered, though, the final determination of certain reviews will be made by the referees in the Replay Center and then communicated back to the oncourt crew chief for administration of the call.

“Many instances in our 15 instant-replay triggers are very straightforward and do not need the involvement of the oncourt game officials to accurately determine the result,” said Kiki VanDeWeghe, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations. “Flow of game is crucial to basketball so a quicker result will help our players and coaches return to action faster.”

Examples of replays that will be determined by the NBA Replay Center are whether a field goal was a two- or three-point attempt, end-of-quarter made field goals, out-of-bounds calls, goaltending and potential shot-clock violations.

The current standard for overturning a call made on the floor will remain for all instant-replay reviews. A call is overturned only if there is “clear and conclusive” visual evidence for doing so.

During replay reviews in which the NBA Replay Center has final jurisdiction, only the crew chief will go to the scorer’s table to hear the Replay Center decision and see the definitive angle on video. The other two referees will get the players lined up to return immediately upon the final decision being conveyed.

That last part could mean that teams will get less or no time to huddle up and make a play call when a review is going on. One complaint about late-game reviews was that they were “free” timeouts, which could benefit one team more than the other.

There will be 1 to 4 refs in the Replay Center every night, depending on the number of games on the schedule. The league starting using the Replay Center last season, but only to find the best replay angle for the in-arena officials to review. Joe Borgia, senior vice president of replay and referee operations, was often in the Center, but no calls were confirmed or changed from Secaucus.

They will be this season.

New replay center reduces review times

The new replay center helped reduce the time referees spent reviewing calls by approximately 50 percent, the NBA announced Friday after the first regular season with the facility in Secaucus, N.J., outfitted with 94 monitors sending images from all 29 arenas.

Among the statistics from the league:

  • The average review time was 42.1 seconds.
  • Of the 1,596 replays upheld or overturned, 80.8 percent were upheld and 19.2 percent were overturned.
  • There were an average of 1.76 reviews per game.
  • The most-common reasons to use the Replay Center were to determine whether a shot was for two points or three (623 times) and whether a shot was released before the end of a quarter (482).

Reducing the time spent on reviews was one of the primary factors in opening the Replay Center. While referees at the games still made the decisions, having league executives with experience as officials allowed the people manning the Secaucus facility to anticipate the reviews the referees would want to see.

Also Friday, the NBA announced it will include which referees made which calls as part of the play-by-play, effective immediately.

 

NBA’s new replay center a high-tech house of correctness


VIDEO: NBA houses new replay center to aid in correct calls

SECAUCUS, N.J. – In the not-so-distant future, a microchip sewn into the fabric of Kevin Durant III‘s uniform shirt (or perhaps embedded painlessly beneath his skin) will be able to sense physical contact from a defender. A signal transmitted instantly through the scoreboard simultaneously will stop the clock and trigger a whistle-like sound. And the NBA players on the court will dutifully line up for a couple free throws, no human referee necessary.

For now, though, the league’s state-of-the-art technology is housed on the first floor of a nondescript office building, in a corporate park on the west side of the Hudson River from Manhattan. Every instant of every NBA game to be played this season, this postseason and beyond will be processed through the new replay center located within, the game footage available to be searched and “scrubbed” (in the parlance of video editing) to get right as many replay situations as possible.

Considering the old arena-and-TV-production-truck method of replay review had a 90 percent success rate, as estimated Thursday by NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn, the league’s quest for greater accuracy and efficiency in swiftly adjudicating the trickiest plays is an admirable one.

Complicated and expensive, too. No one talked of the price tag Thursday during a media walk-through of the facility, which is headquartered with NBA Entertainment. But some of the other numbers tossed around were staggering:

  • 300 billion bits of information per second, in terms of processing multiple HD video streams and photos. The new network’s capacity is 66 times greater than the previous system, vast and fast enough to download the entire digitized content of the Library of Congress (more than 158 million items) in about a half hour.
  • 31,500 hours of video to be reviewed in the 2014-15 season alone.
  • 94 flat-screen TV monitors, 32 of them touch-screen, and 20 replay stations in the center.
  • 15 replay operators, one each for the maximum number of games in a single day, finding and feeding the critical plays to one of three replay managers for interaction with the in-arena referee crew chief.
  • 15 replay “triggers” or game situations that allow for review, up from 14 last season.

The room looks like the wonkiest sports bar in America, a cross between a TV production booth, an air-traffic control tower and the CTU HQ Jack Bauer occasionally dropped by.

As formidable as the replay center looks, the process will continue to be dictated by the game officials in Charlotte, Portland or wherever. But rather than relying on a monitor at the scorer’s table linked only to a truck in the arena parking lot – where the broadcast production staffers have enough work to manage the telecast – the crew chief will connect directly to a replay manager.

That manager – described by Joe Borgia, NBA senior VP, replay and referee operations, as a “basketball junkie” with training as a ref, a techie or both – will have at his disposal angles quickly cued up from the assigned replay operator. The crew chief will be able to request zoom, split screens, slo-motion, real-time speed, freeze frames and up to four angles on one screen. Until now, the refs were shown angles sequentially, sometimes seeing the best one after it already had appeared on the arena videoboard.

One important point: The crew chief still will make the final decision. The replay gurus in Secaucus – who occasionally will be watched while they’re watching by a camera mounted high in the room, to show TV audiences how the sausage gets made – will simply select what they deem to be the best angles of the plays in question.

“They’re just giving us the views so we can make the correct calls,” ref Jim Capers said Thursday during a Q&A session.

That’s different from the NHL and MLB, where determinations are made by the replay center administrators. The NBA isn’t ready to take that step yet, Thorn said.

“We don’t want to take it away from the referee right now,” Thorn said. “But he may ask for some support from here. We’re going to have these things cued up for him and most of ’em are going to be, ‘Well, there it is.’

“Our feeling was, we’re going to leave the ultimate decision in the hand of the on-court crew chief with his guys – for right now. But that may come. You have a chip in your ear, you’re running down the floor, you wave your hand about a 3-point shot and Joe Borgia says [from back at the replay center] ‘His foot was on the line. It was a 2.’ So you don’t even have to go over to the [monitor]. But we’re not there yet.”

Nor, Thorn said, is the NBA ready to adopt a challenge system similar to those used in the NFL and MLB in which coaches and managers can choose to have certain calls reviewed. That will be experimented with this season in the NBA Development League and it was discussed “very seriously,” Thorn said, at the NBA Competition Committee’s two more recent meetings.

“If you talk to the coaches, and we have three coaches on our Competition Committee, they would like to challenge judgment calls,” Thorn said. “That’s a little different.”

Those second-guesses might be better left to the microchips when the time comes. In the meantime, the NBA has its new high-tech house of correctness.