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Debate: Instant replay and challenge systems in sports

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Is it justified for instant replay to help determine the outcome of calls in sports?

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Background and context

For years now, many sports have incorporated the use of instant replay to assist officials in their calls. With advancements in technology, sports officials are now able to immediately access replays if necessary to verify a call, but should this process be used in all professional sports? The NFL has been using limited instant replays since 1986, and their current system of red flag challenges began in 1999. Similarly, the NBA began using instant replays with limitations since 2002. The Hawk-Eye cameras were incorporated in the US Open a few years later, and even the MLB began using instant replays for incredibly limited purposes in 2008. Many other sports have also adopted their own version of instant replay rules to be used. However, other sports associations, such as FIFA have declined to permit the use of instant replays, claiming that they take the human element out of the game. In 2005, general secretary of FIFA, Urs Linsi said, “Players, coaches and referees all make mistakes. It's part of the game. As we've always emphasized at FIFA, football's human element must be retained. It mirrors life itself and we have to protect it.” Is human error a part of the game? Does instant replay in sports take the human aspect out of the game? Or would instant replay make the game fairer?

General Arguments

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Pro

Instant replay systems help officials to ensure that they make correct calls. Video systems can see things in greater detail than the human eye, and when these replays are readily available anyway, there is no reason to not use them.




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Con

Instant replay takes the human aspect out of sports games. For centuries, sports have never used instant replays and everything has turned out fine. There is no reason to change anything as it takes the human aspect out of the game.




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