Little League World Series using replay

Just heard about it last night, and confirmed it here.

My qualms about the big-time-ification of kid sports are actually overrun by one idea here:  from Little League to Major Leagues, the main idea of an official is to get it right.  At the local field on Saturday morning, there won’t be the technology to allow that.  But if there is, why not use it?  ESPN/ABC is broadcasting the games anyway (if they have to skip a broadcast due to rain delays, they won’t use replay).  Much to my surprise, I think I support this.

I like one part of the rule better than the other.

The part I like is that each manager is permitted one unsuccessful challenge in the first six innings, and then another unsuccessful challenge in extra innings.  Get a challenge right?  You get another–in perpetuity.  Get it wrong?  No more challenges.  This puts the onus on managers to be extra sure they’ve got a good challenge before making said challenge.  In Little League, where I assume there’s no TV in their dugouts and no clubhouses to speak of, they won’t have the benefit of seeing a quick replay before the next pitch, either, so there’s another layer of difficulty.

The part I dislike is the umpire-initiated replay check.  If the umpiring crew meets and cannot agree on a call, they can agree to check the replay.

My worry about that is that it might lead umpires to be too cautious and say “well, as long as we have replay at our disposal, we’d better give it a look.”  I think umpires would be better off getting the information and making a decision than they would be getting the information and then NOT making a decision.  Again, I’d rather put the onus on the managers.

But the first part–the one manager’s unsuccessful challenge per game…there is absolutely NO REASON why that can’t be used in MLB for everything except balls and strikes.

It’s bizarre to think of Little League blazing a trail for MLB to follow, but here it is.


About Paul Hamann
I am a basketball referee in Washington State, working mostly high school games.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: