Sample Essay on Instant Replay


Not all the sporting activities have entirely embraced the use of instant replays in assisting the match officials in making decisions. A good example of such sporting activities is soccer. Though some professional leagues have incorporated the use of the instant technology in the name of the goal line technology, the majority of other football professional leagues across the globe have refused to embrace it.  However, instant replays could be utilized in soccer in deciding offside decisions, whether a ball disregards the objective line and illuminating most of the penalty decisions. This paper will show that instant replay should be eliminated from professional sports because it slows down the game; it is not one hundred percent accurate, and it removes the human element from the game (Reiter et al 2014).

Instant Replay


The universe of sport is ceaselessly changing throughout the years, and the utilization of technological innovations is only one of those territories that have had an effect on numerous sports on the cutting edge. One of the negative influences of the use of technology is that it can remarkably result in slow decision-making process in the sporting arena. However, for some individuals, it makes watching sports more enjoyable and facilitates the process of making the right decisions by the match officials.  One of the technological innovations that have been appreciated and incorporated in most of the sporting activities is the instant replays (Zachary & Rymer, 2012). Instant replay is a video multiplication of an event that happened lately, which was not only shot but also shown live. The video, having been demonstrated live, is replayed for the goal viewers to see and analyze what occurred. A few games permit officiating calls to be toppled after the scrutinizing the instant replay (Zachary & Rymer, 2012). Instant replay has been embraced not only in sports but also in several of other fields such as the live television shows and presentations. It is worth noting that the first instant replay to be developed and replayed happened in Canada. However, the first instant replay was developed and deployed in the United States of America.

Importance of Instant Replay as a Tool for Assisting Match Officials

During the live telecast of the sporting events, instant replay is regularly utilized to demonstrate an activity of play that was imperative or noteworthy, or which was vague at first sight. Replays have frequently appeared amid a break or respite in the activity; in current broadcasts, most of the replays are done during breaks.  However, the difference now is that the modern replays are in slow motion mode as opposed to the footage from cameras that are placed at different angles in the past. Video servers, with their sophisticated technology, have taken into consideration more intricate replays, for example, stop edge, outline by-edge survey, replay at variable speeds, overlaying of virtual representation, instant investigation instruments, for instance, ball rate or prompt separation estimation. Sports reporters examine the replay footage when it is being played, as opposed to depicting the simultaneous real to life. Instant replays are utilized today as a part of TV extreme sports, where the speed of the activity is too high to be effectively deciphered by the stripped eye, utilizing mixes of innovative advances, for example, video servers, and fast cameras recording at up to a few thousand edges for every second (Bordner, 2015).

The majority of the professional sports in the United States have embraced and utilized instant replay and other technological innovations to assist match officials with making the right call. Most of the officials from several sports have utilized video replay frameworks to check officials’ calls for a long time. A good example is the basketball officials employing the use of the replay frameworks to ensure players are shooting inside of the time assigned by the shot clock. Besides, in the professional international cricket, the third umpire has been utilized, where he sits off the ground where he can easily access to TV replays of a particular event, with the aim of promoting the focal umpires in case of any disputes. The third umpire is always in constant correspondence using wireless communication technology with the other umpires (Deveney, 2008).


In baseball, the umpire is the individual tasked with directing the course of the play, including starting and completion the diversion, authorizing the principles of the play and the grounds, making informed decisions on plays, and taking care of the disciplinary actions. The term umpire is regularly abbreviated as an ump. They are additionally referred to as blue at lower levels because of the regular shade of the uniform worn by umpires. In the professional baseball, players or directors, who rather call the umpire by name, from time to time utilize the expression “blue.” Despite the fact that a sole umpire frequently directed diversions in the developmental years of the game, following the turn of the twentieth century, administering has been regularly separated among a few umpires, who frame the umpiring group (Reiter et al 2014).

An umpire’s informed decision used to be final unless the umpire is deciding to ask his partner for heir opinions on the contested issue.  Starting from the year 2014, the MLB has permitted administrators to test plays amid the diversion. If the director effectively has a call toppled, they have compensated another challenge. However, in the event that an umpire appears to make a blunder in regards to the interpretations of the rules and regulations, his call, in particular, circumstances can be authoritatively dissented similar to the case in MLB. If the umpire is persevering in his or her elucidation, a class official will settle the matter later (Deveney, 2008).

According to Costa (2013) instant replay is being incorporated to help with making right calls since Major League Baseball decided on the choice that the right call is more imperative than custom. In like manner, if the technological innovation exists to give exact contribute area constant, it can be utilized to make ball and strike calls. Nobody appreciates any game settled on an illegal strike three or ball four, and it would be a fascinating study to perceive what number of recreations finished on an erroneous call. It is important to note that the numbers of such wrong calls are little. However, any diversion is too much – slip-ups ought never to be the central element in any play, particularly when those errors can be eliminated. Unfortunately, reports have emerged from the Major League Baseball claiming that instant replays will not be used in all circumstances. However, little have been revealed of such circumstances that further leave the concerned party in a dilemma this is because each party is unaware of the time when the umpire will make a wrong call that disadvantage them and review the replay (Deveney, 2008).


To be able to portray the impact that the instant replay has had in tennis sport, a match between the tennis legend John McEnroe and his opponent Jim Courier would be reviewed Heinzl (2006). This epic match happened in London during the senior tour match in December. The dispute happened when Mr. McEnroe stormed off the court thinking that he had won the game. However, after his opponent contested the decision, it was established through the help of replays that were computer generated, it was established that his contested serve was out. This decision made the game continue where the legendary Mr. McEnroe ended up losing the match. After that big decision, Mr. McEnroe also tried to contest several decision but the replays revealed that he was wrong in all of them. This is just one of the incidences that are a testimony to the impact that the instant replays has had in the tennis sports. It can be argued that without it wrong decision could have been made where Mr. McEnroe could have declared as the winner while Jim Courier could have been robbed of his victory (Heinzl, 2006).

From the same match, it was also contested on who should have the final verdict of the game, is it the match officials or the computer-generated instant replays. This is because though the instant replay saved the day; the credibility of the match officials was brought subjected to many scrutinizes. The officials are making decisions and immediately overruling the same decision because of the reviewing of the instant replays subjects both the players and the officials to great humiliations. Mr. McEnroe himself was not happy after the match because he blamed the instant reply to be behind his defeat simply because it gave his opponent the psychological advantage over him during that crucial game. The good news is that the instant replay facilitated the making of the right decision (Heinzl, 2006).


Though the use of instant replays has not gained ground in the football-sporting arena, some leagues have embraced it. An example of such League is the National Football League. The significant positive impact that the use of the instant replays has had in the National Football League is the overturning of the erroneous decisions. As a result, most of the outcomes of this league have been rationally altered to favor the team that is on the right side. According to the Szczerban (2006), instant replays have been used in Canadian football as a method of reviewing matches in regards to the initial calls that the match officials do make.

He further put it that instant replays are used in virtually all scenarios such as the calls that are deemed controversial for the replay. In addition, he went further to list the parties that can request for the instant replays where he listed the match officials themselves together with the team head coaches. However, the head coaches are limited in the number of the replays they can request in a match. It is important to note that there are restrictions as to the type of the plays that are allowed to be reviewed, but the National Football League has prohibited the review of the penalty calls as well as the play that the officials have whistled dead before the actual pay has ended rightfully (Szczerban, 2006).

Negative Impacts of the Instant Replay

Though the instant replays have the profound positive impacts as far as accurate decision-making is concerned, it also has alongside influenced different sporting activities negatively. In the first place, it has made the match officials toothless because they cannot make their decisions as far as the match officiating is concerned. Consequently, the credibility of the match officials has been brought to an intense scrutiny because nearly all of their decisions are contested through reviewing of the replays. Therefore, the match officials such as the referees have lost the enthusiasm and the moral to execute their duties with an independent mind as used to be formal (Wertheim, 2013). In this regards, the match officials have been subjected to a lot of stress because they are expected to be 100% accurate in all of the decisions that they make (Szczerban, 2006). It is worth noting that this level of accuracy with the humans is impossible. In regards to the sports its self, the instant replays have promoted delays that in return results in the time wastage. This comes from the fact that matches are normally stopped when the decision of the match officials is contested for the reviewing of the instant replays as a means of resolving disputes (Bordner, 2015). At this juncture, this paper will focus on different sporting events across the globe where the instant replay has demonstrated that it is negatively impacting sports.


Baldwin (2014) has revealed that rugby union has experienced video refereeing problem. He further put it that the rugby administrative body did expand the number of officials that deals with the instant replays during the rugby world cup of 2013. The rugby administrative body named these officials as Television Match Officials and they were mandated to review issues such as disputed tries, defensive infringements, as well as the fouls that are deemed serious and dangerous. Thought the move to incorporate instant tries has resulted in accurate calls, it has in return halted the flow and rhythm of the beautiful game of rugby. This is because much delay has been experienced because of the constant disputes that result into constant reviewing of the replays. It has also been revealed by the Baldwin (2014) that the average instant replay interlude normally last for a staggering 85 seconds, which further point to the extent of delays that the instant play is causing in the rugby sports. Shockingly, rugby is ranked second after tennis as the sporting event where the instant replay is causing massive delays.

However, it is important to note that tennis is not a team sport as compared to rugby where they employ the use of the instantaneous electronic hawk eye systems for replays rather than the video. As a result, players together with the pundits have constantly vented their frustrations concerning the choppy pace that the instant replay has brought to the rugby sport. As for the rugby a referee, Baldwin (2014) has revealed how the instant replay has subjected them to intense stress because of the disputing of their decisions. He used his experience as a rugby referee of how he felt frustrated when his decisions were overturned after the reviewing of the replays. Most evidently, the continuous use of the instant replay in the rugby matches is fast eradicating the human elements in the rugby (Baldwin, 2014).


Major League Baseball has unanimously agreed to the utilization of the video replay technology as a tool for assisting the umpires in making an accurate decision. They collectively decided to use the video replay in adjudicating certain calls on the field. It is worth noting that the embracement of the use of technology in baseball targeted addressing of the fair and foul balls. Furthermore, the use of the technology in baseball also targeted assisting umpires to determine whether the balls were caught on the air.  Though, to an extent, instant replays assisted the umpires in making right decisions, they have also influenced the tennis sport negatively (Deveney, 2008).

According to the Deveney (2008), most of the people are of the opinion that the use of the instant replay is not the best method of resolving the baseball disputes. He went further to claim that certain instances cannot be resolved by the use of replay technology because the replays are likewise incorrect. He went on to purport that the controversy that the replay is striving of eliminating in baseball is a boon rather than the hindrance. According to the baseball folklore, the enjoyment of the game comes because of constant discussions and arguments from the controversial plays. Therefore, this side of the play is facing eradication with the implementation of the instant replay in the baseball.

It is argued that trying to be right all the time makes the sporting event very boring and monotonous. Besides, the lesson that the baseball used to teach both the young and the older generation is facing extinction. The lesson itself is the fact that an individual can use any means even the dubious ones to overturn failures into success. In the virtual world, people value success more than failure. Therefore, controversies that are attributed to the baseball prepare people to strive for nothing but success at all cost. This is because the life itself is unfair; therefore, trying to reach perfection in fairness in unjust society is not practical. This side of life is fast eroded by the use of instant replay technology in baseball (Deveney, 2008).


The invention of the instant replays has revolutionized the sporting arena. This is because it has enabled the match officials to make accurate decisions that have promoted fairness in the sports. Moreover, the instant technology has made watching games more enjoyable by providing the fans the opportunity of reviewing the actions that they missed the first opportunity. Most importantly, instant replays have facilitated solving of disputes, especially during the cases where decisions are contested. Amidst all of the benefits that are attributed to the instant replays, it has also influenced the sports negatively. Firstly, it has removed the human element in the sporting activities where it has been fully incorporated. Such sports include rugby, baseball, and basketball (Wertheim, 2013). Secondly, instant replay has also delayed most of the sports resulting in the loss of rhythm of the game. A lot of time is usually lost during the reviewing of the replays in case of any disputes (Sheehan & Gorant, 2014). Thirdly, the replays have subjected the match officials to an intense stress because they feel frustrated each time the help of the replays overrules their decisions. Fourthly, the instant replay is fast eroding the past controversies that were witnessed from different sporting events. Most fans will admit that such controversies made sports more exciting. Therefore, striving to get all decision right by the help of the instant replay makes sports very boring. Consequently, eliminating instant replay would save most of the sporting activities from the negative influences of the replays.


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