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Is instant reply the answer to sporting gaffes?

June 4th, 2010
02:24 PM ET

On Wednesday night, Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga was only a few minutes away from having a perfect game in major league baseball and a spot in sporting glory.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/04/baseball.art.gettyimages.jpg
caption="What is your most memorable sporting gaffe?"]

But with only one out remaining, Cleveland Indians' Jason Donald tapped an infield single, which was incorrectly ruled as a hit by umpire Jim Joyce.

It was clear that Donald was supposed to be called out at first base and even the veteran umpire later admitted he made a mistake.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said that as a consequence of Joyce's call, he is going to consider expanding the use of instant replay.

Right now, the big leagues only use the instant replay if there's a boundary dispute on a home run.

The blown call was another gaffe in a long line of officiating mistakes in a number of sports.

Who will ever forget Maradona's 'hand of God' incident at the 1986 World Cup.

Maradona was at his peak, running at defenses with devastating pace and skill during the quarter-final game between Argentina and England. In the 51st minute, one such surge resulted in the ball looping into the air off a defender, before Maradona punched it into the net just ahead of the advancing goalkeeper Peter Shilton.

Incensed England players claimed handball - and the TV replays and photos of the incident were conclusive - but the goal stood.

Currently a number of sports including professional tennis and hockey use instant reply, but many sports do not, replying solely on umpires.

We want to know what you think.

Should all professional sport utilize instant reply in some form or another? What are some of your most memorable sporting gaffes?

Please leave your comments below and be sure to include where you’re writing from.


Filed under:  General
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello CNN friends,

    All professional sport should utilize instant reply in some form or another. The United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace or UNOSDP
    must see that this happens around the world!

    Greetings,
    Jurgen R. Brul
    Paramaribo, Suriname

    June 4, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Reply
  2. Lynda

    All professional sports should utilize instant replay. In the NHL, instant replay should also be used to check penalty calls. The refs are only human and are seeing the action from one angle. Given what is at stake (advancing through the Stanley Cup playoffs, for example), common sense would tell us that instant replay is of incredible value in professional sports and is the only fair way to judge goals, penalties, etc.

    June 4, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Reply
  3. mitch

    Yes. Athletes are performing a job and to smudge their record when you have the ability to fix it is totally wrong. Would you want your supervisor to have free reign over your job performance with no checks and balances?

    June 4, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Reply
  4. Keira

    Instant replay should be used if/when the play in question has the potential to change the outcome of a game: a home run, a perfect game, or even during the World Series. It shouldn't be used to argue balls & strikes or any minor calls. The game is played/judged by humans, mistakes will happen.

    During last year's ALDS (American League Division Series), there was a blown call by an umpire that determined the outcome of the game. Thank goodness I'm a Yankee fan. If I had been a Minnesota fan, I would be pretty angry 🙂

    Keira
    NY

    June 4, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  5. Patrick Bateman

    There is no other option but to add instant replay to Football/Soccer.

    After witnessing Henry's infamous handball to rule Ireland out of the World Cup I have accepted that there is a problem in football at the moment. There needs to be definitive rules which should not be broken. Anything other than that is just cheating.

    Football needs a change, it's not fair for teams to lose out because of the referee's lack of judgement. There is so much money on these games too, shouldn't these people have the right to a fair bet?.

    June 4, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  6. Jamrock

    I don't know about other sports, but chess definitely does. it's easy to miss the subtleties of castling, or an exciting pawn-take-pawn because of the break-neck pace. Instant replay could stop the madness!

    June 4, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Reply
  7. Olivia

    @ Lynda

    To check penalties in hockey? Seriously? Have you noticed how long it takes to check a goal? There are how many more penalties than goals in a regular hockey game? That would be insane. The game would be hours longer.
    Common sense gave us referees to use. While they are not always perfect, for the most part they do a decent job. Penalties are part of the game of hockey. You deal with them.
    Hahaa that was the stupidest thing I've heard somebody say in a while.... lol

    My memory? Kerry Fraser not calling Gretzky for a high stick on Gilmour and the Leafs consequently losing,

    June 4, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Reply
  8. Neil

    Instant replay should definitely be used to determine certain plays that have a direct affect on the outcome, ie. hits, runs, goals, touchdowns. Not indirect ones like penalties, strikes/balls, first downs, etc.
    One of my most memorable gaffes was the Padres/Rockies 163rd game tie-breaker to see who was going to the playoffs. Holliday clearly didn't touch the plate, but the umpire called him safe and the Rockies went on to the playoffs. I'm not blaming the ump, it was close and incorrect calls happen, but if they had a replay, they would have got the call right.

    June 4, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Reply
  9. Dan

    I hate to be devils advocate here, but are people ready for all professional games to take longer then they all ready are today? Baseball could easily go to 3 1/2 hours for a game, and football all ready has a huge time delay with replay and it breaks the monetum of one team (Which could be your team).

    With instant replay why do we even need to have officials at the game? If all of there judgement calls are going to be reviewed and reversed. they might just as well not be there.

    I think instant replay is really taking part of the sport away, it is taking some of the fun away? Yelling at the offical about being blind and playing on wa spart of the fun no with replay takes all of that fun away.

    Do most people enjoy their employers looking over there shoulder reviewing every thing they do and having their employer telling them they are wrong? That is what is happening to these officials with all the push for instant replay.

    June 4, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Reply
  10. Martin

    Hello everyone!

    I believe that soccer players will stop "acting" during games...sometimes a defender doesn't even touch the forward and they get away with a penalty shot when it came about from "acting".

    Instant replay will make them play as gentleman and will avoid getting a yellow card or a red card when they may not deserve them.

    God bless!

    June 4, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Reply
  11. Jonny

    Of course the referee is going to make mistakes but using instant replay means every time the littlest fart happens someone is going to cry for a replay. This may be fine for sports like american football that are naturally choppy but other sports like football are much more fluid. Besides, if the referees can't be wrong who else do the fans blame when their team loses?????

    June 4, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Reply
  12. FatherRastus

    @ Jamrock – too true dude! Same goes for Backgammon – you have no idea how easy it is to miss seeing a player take 5 moves on a double instead of 4 – or bump the doubling cube! Instant replays for sure!

    June 4, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Reply
  13. Tony

    The NFL has been using an instant-replay system for some time now, and it works fairly well. Each team has a limited number of challenges they can make per game (2, and you get a 3rd if the first two are both successful), and there's a serious drawback to a failed challenge (you lose a timeout). Since there's no limit to the number of timeouts a team can take in baseball, a different drawback would have to be devised, but it's hard to see any significant downside to the MLB adopting a similar system.

    June 4, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Reply
  14. Ken

    Yes all pofessional sports should use instant replays. No team or individual should be penalised because of an umpiring mistake or dare I say obvious cheating or bad sportsmanship by players. In addition in todays world where gambling takes place on all sport all results must be accurate and leave no question of doubt. The World Cup (soccer) will yet again suffer a blow or two to its reputation in South Africa because of spur of the moment erroneous decisions by umpires.

    June 4, 2010 at 11:03 pm | Reply
  15. Simon Ward

    I'm all in favor of instant replay for key decisions (goals, etc.), where answers can be obtained without the need of computer wizardry – but with exceptions. Tennis uses wizardry well for line calls, and also limits the number of disputes a player can make. But I would not like to see it, for example, for LBW (leg before wicket) in cricket. That would be too complex, and detract from the referee's stature. (Deciding an LBW call is one of the most difficult decisions a referee can make in any sport.)

    June 4, 2010 at 11:58 pm | Reply
  16. Kyle

    No sports should use instant replay. I feel instant replay has ruined the sports that do use it. I don't want to watch the referee go to the monitor every couple minutes and waste my time. Sure it makes it dead on fair, BUT it ruins the experience and creates cry babies. Part of the game is rolling with the punches, and that includes a bad call. That's why baseball remains great. They just have to accept it and over come it, no body cries or complains for weeks, even years after the fact. They just brush it off and go. Plus it's always good for a Manager to umpire showdown ending with a removal from the game and cheering fans.
    So I feel the opposite, we should remove instant replay from everything except racing where it is essential.

    June 5, 2010 at 12:07 am | Reply
  17. Joseph Aranzaes

    Since the main objective of every sport is the show, referees should let players to complete the play, and then the assistant referees could ask him that a fault shoud be marked, and if there is any complain, they should check the instant reply.

    In example, in soccer could be 20 cancelled goals, and it would be a great show, even if that team looses, people would know what can they do, other club could see them in complete plays, and see their real potential. Many times when the play is cancelled, we are not sure if it would be goal.

    In the other hand, am sure that this replies will push tv channels to have more cameras to have the perfect shot, and if this instant reply is the decissive for the game, they will retrieve a lot of money for the advertisement, so they will afford more cameras and crew with that sponsor.

    at the end, everybody win......

    June 5, 2010 at 12:15 am | Reply
  18. Kaiser

    Jamrock- that was hilarious!

    June 5, 2010 at 12:32 am | Reply
  19. Alejandro Viau

    Off course it should.... i do not understand why this is not happening yet.

    Alejandro Viau
    Guatemala

    June 5, 2010 at 12:41 am | Reply
  20. Len

    NO!! I think we should get out of instant replay in all sports Period!!! It's the human factor that makes a great game...great. Problem is tho the corruption of payouts and payoffs that can and could change the betting community. If we could just keep the bookies from it....OK so manbe I can wish?? But then..it's just MY opinion...

    June 5, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Reply
  21. Joe

    Stinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnky

    September 14, 2010 at 4:13 am | Reply

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