Archive for the ‘Hockey’ Category

There have been an outrageous amount of horrible calls and missed calls throughout this World Cup, that have spurred renewed conversation of FIFA’s use of technology and instant replay during the World Cup. With most of the talk being motivated by horrible foul calls, I’m really hoping this doesn’t happen. I’m not against instant replay. I think it has its place in football (the American type) and basketball. And although I would agree with The Mark, who earlier wrote about his opposition to using replay in baseball (see Baseball Is Just Fine The Way It Is), I really don’t have a strong opposition to it in baseball, I would just like to keep the game as traditional as possible…but with the addition of steroids, the designated hitter, the wild card, and relief pitchers in the last half decade, I’m basically giving up my hopes on that. While I think instant replay may have a place in soccer, it’s a small place at best, and wouldn’t help right the foul calls that have people upset.

For Foul Calls?

My opposition pretty much comes down to one thing, soccer is just too fast paced to have instant replay. Replay is fine in other sports that have breaks and adequate time between plays. Football, there’s almost always a 30 second break after each play, except for in the sadly underused no huddle offense; In basketball when each team has 5-6 timeouts per half and there are 30 stops for free throws per game, they are not concerned with adding a couple more breaks to review questionable calls. Soccer on the other hand has zero timeouts per game and rarely has stops over a couple seconds. There are hardly pauses for most foul calls, as most teams are trying to get the game going before the other team has a chance to reset. This sort of play also allows for an advantage to the most physically fit team, so to add a break for instant replay would take away strategy and advantage from the game.

If they don’t decide to stop the game, then the other option would be to let play resume and review, but how would they correct the call. Reverse the call and reset the game clock to where it was? Offer a makeup call? Basically, when it comes down to putting instant replay in effect, you can either stop the game and ruin the pace of the game or you can let the game proceed and have no effective way to reverse an incorrect call.

Also consider though, since there is so much interpretation involved in what’s a foul, yellow, and red card, it’s practically impossible to have a perfectly called game. What I think is a yellow card is a foul to someone else, what some else thinks is a red, I think is a yellow. Is a player intentionally hitting someone or was it an accident (foul or yellow)? Replay will never solve the difference in interpretation and if done by a review booth, could potentially cause inconsistency in calls.

If any of the people who were bitching that instant replay was necessary in soccer for foul calls could please tell me how they planned on enacting it without destroying the game, that would be greatly appreciated.

For Goals, Red Cards?

I will agree with the pro-instant replay people that it should be used on goals (unless sensors start getting used, which would be even better). Unlike most other stops to the game, this stop is longer, with adequate time to review the call from a booth. And it’s the most crucial part of the game to call correctly. I don’t see this having a huge effect on the game except ensuring accuracy.

There are some areas that still lie in a gray area for me, though, such as the review of red cards. I don’t think it was fair that Kaka had to sit out a game for his slight brush against Keita that sent him (evidently convincingly enough) crashing to the ground in the worst imaginary injury to date in the World Cup. All review showed that this was simply a case of Keita abusing slight contact and the ref’s bad view of the situation. So, do we undermine the refs and review double yellows? And again, do we undermine them and tell them that what they saw as an intentional foul, which should merit a yellow, we happened to feel was unintentional and should simply be a foul call? I think there should still be no instant replay with these, since it’s just too complicated to reverse, just as I said with a regular foul call, but it hurts me to say that when there are clear mistakes being made.

So We Just Let The Horrible Officiating Continue?

There’s bound to be error in soccer, I know. It’s very difficult to be in proper position when the ball is moving so quickly, there’s no way to always be in a correct position to see any possible call and foul, and to add to that, the ref is running the whole time while trying to keep an eye on 22 people at once. But I’m not asking for perfection, I’m just asking for the copious amount of bullshit calls to be reduced to a small handful.

While I disagree with instant replay, there needs to be some change in the officiating. I don’t know that I can stand to watch another World Cup where players spend more time on the ground fake crying than up on their feet actually playing the game; I’ve already lived through Vlade Divac’s career and don’t care to see this type of play in any sport again.

Other solutions.

More refs. Baseball has 4 umps for a max of 13 players and they are watching a much more limited area of play, and all of this with more time to react, instant replay for homeruns, the ability to consult each other, and even more umps in playoffs. Football has 7 officials for 22 players and are watching 1 direction of play (for the most part) and all of this with only one play going on at a time, time to consult, instant replay, and booth review. Basketball has 3 officials for 10 players and are watching on a much more limited court size, and all this with the ability to consult and have instant replay. Basically what we see with soccer is there are fewer officials, more players, and due to the speed of the game and the inability to consult at length, 2 of the 3 officials have a lot of power taken out of their hands and the power really lies with the head ref. This has just been encouraging the fake fouls, since the players are taking advantage of the lack of vision on the field. I think the addition of more refs, (maybe another on field, and split power like in basketball?) would discourage this embarrassing behavior.

"The foul's on......eh, who cares?"-Coulibaly

Explanations. One thing that’s clearly necessary is justification of calls. I don’t think that the Coulibaly call is evidence of a need for replay as much as it’s evidence for mandatory explanations. The Bearded Man just wrote about this in his recent controversial post Why The World Cup Sucks and I absolutely, absolutely agree. The fact that he is unable to say who the foul is being called on is unacceptable. Even worse is FIFA’s avoidance to address the issue. Even as quick paced as the game is, he does have the two seconds it takes to tell a scorekeeper the players number. There’s no point in having headsets if they’re clearly not being used properly.

All I can say, is hopefully some sort of change will be made. I would like instant replay to stay out of the game, but if it does in fact sneak its way in, at least I won’t have to watch another miserable World Cup with the refs being the third team on the field.

-The Sand-Rant

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So I may be new to the scene, but I am the one person who will be paying any attention to hockey on this site.  Being from the Bay area I have favored San Jose, much to my surprise I was feeling pretty good after 3 games, still a bit skeptical though.  How can my team, the modern fuckup in playoffs be one game away from sweeping the modern-day dynasty and making it to the finals?  After a decade of finishing first and second in the Pacific, the team that includes an all-star goalie and a gold medal winning front line has somehow never been able to put it together in the playoffs.  Although we were strongly favored in round 1, we did our best to let the Avalanche take us out.  Granted, the Red Wings took 7 games to make it to round 2 in very un-Red Wings like fashion, but I still expected them to roll over the Sharks….very similar to what was seen tonight in the 7-1 slaughter by the Red Wings.

After year after year of watching the Sharks get taken out earlier than expected, and just being happy making it to round two, it’s a bit hard to believe that the Red Wings aren’t going to pull a 2004 Red Sox move.  You know the move, I mean it was one of the greatest comebacks in playoff history, all sports included, but let me add I HATE the Red Sox (you will hear plenty about that) and really do not want to give them credit for that year but alas.  Hopefully the Sharks can hang on for at least one home ice victory to make it to the finals and be the number one  seed that actually makes it to the Stanley Cup Finals. What a Cinderella story that would be.

The Sand-Rant