High School Sports

Take our polls: UIL adds instant replay for football championship games

John Stephen Jones sets passing record for state title game

Highland Park QB John Stephen Jones set a Texas championship game record with 564 yards passing in the Scots 53-49 win over Manvel.
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Highland Park QB John Stephen Jones set a Texas championship game record with 564 yards passing in the Scots 53-49 win over Manvel.

The UIL announced on Thursday that it will use instant replay at all of its football state championship games beginning this fall.

State title games will be played Dec. 19-22 at AT&T Stadium.

“With all UIL state championship football games at a single location, we have the technology and ability to utilize these powerful tools to make the state championships the best possible experience for coaches, players, officials and fans,” UIL executive director Charles Breithaupt said. “Instant replay will help ensure that the calls during the biggest games of the year are as correct as possible.”

The UIL will use the NCAA rules for instant replay, but there will be no challenges from coaches. All reviews will come through the replay officials.

Replay will only be conducted at the state title games. It won’t be permitted during the regular season or other playoff games.

“Because we play football by NCAA rules, which allow for instant replay, we have this opportunity. We’re extremely excited to add instant replay to our state championship games,” UIL director of athletics Susan Elza said. “We’ve studied this topic thoroughly, and have made many conversations with officials and coaches. The consensus we’ve heard is that our game is ready for this and it will be a valuable addition.”

Elza later commented on instant replay while being interviewed at Thursday's state soccer tournament in Georgetown.

"We felt like this was the year to move forward with our 2018 state championships," she said. "I think it's going to be great and I'm excited for it, and looking forward to it in December."

Elza said the No. 1 question the UIL gets is "when will instant replay be added to every game" and the No. 2 question is "will it be added to other sports?"

"Being realistic with the technology these days, and how instant replay is apart of college and pro basketball and baseball, I think it will," she said. "I think it's a matter of time. I think at some point in the future, we'll have it."

The UIL also announced that targeting will not be called as a result of a review. Targeting will only be called by the officials on the field and all reviews will take place in a replay booth with a collegiate replay official reviewing plays.

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