As technology continues to advance, so do our means of utilizing it.
With video review already an important (and sometimes tedious) part of college football and basketball, it was only a matter of time before it began to impact other sports. Next up is softball, as the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel announced on Friday that it has approved the use of video review which will begin with the 2022 season, according to UK Athletics. The SEC had previously used video review for the Conference Tournaments during 2019 and 2021.
The video review will be optional, however, depending on if the home team has the capabilities to go back and watch replays. The newly introduced rule will give each head coach two challenges to use for review throughout an entire game. The umpire also has the authority to call a review if they determine one is necessary, but only once the contest has reached the sixth inning (softball plays just seven innings).
NCAA Approves Video Review for Softball Beginning in 2022https://t.co/hm7cTt71z0
— Kentucky Softball (@UKsoftball) August 13, 2021
Below is the list of calls or plays that can be subject to review:
- Regarding batted balls (any ball higher than the top of the foul pole when it leaves the field cannot have that aspect reviewed):
- Deciding whether a batted ball called fair is fair or foul.
- Deciding whether a batted ball called foul should be a ground rule double, home run or hit-by-pitch.
- Deciding whether a batted ball called fair and ruled not to have left the field of play did leave the field.
- Regarding pitched balls at the plate:
- Deciding whether a pitch ruled a dropped third strike was caught before the ball touched the ground.
- Deciding whether a live or dead ball should be changed to a foul ball.
- Deciding whether a foul ball should be changed to a foul tip only with no base runners, or if it would result in a third out.
- Deciding whether a batter is hit by a pitch.
- Spectator interference.
- Obstruction and interference (including collisions).
- Deciding if malicious/flagrant contact occurred. Umpires may initiate this review without requiring a coach’s challenge at any point in the game to ensure student-athlete safety.
- Timing plays (deciding whether the base runner scored ahead of a third out).
- Force/tag play calls: Plays involving all runners acquiring the base before the defensive player’s attempt to put the runner out at any base.
- Blocked or dead ball/placement of runners: Deciding whether a ball not ruled blocked should be ruled blocked, and the proper placement of runners after any blocked or dead ball call.
- With no base runners, a no catch can be changed to a catch at any time. With runners on base, a no catch can be changed to a catch only if it results in a third out.