Instant replay review ready to roll at football state tourament

Under the instant replay review rule that will be used for some 2019 state tournament games, if a player is ejected for a flagrant personal foul, the play will automatically be reviewed to make a final determination that the disqualification aspect is correct. Perhaps an automatic review, if it was available back then, could have helped after this fracas in 1989. Dennis Oda / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The instant-replay review formula for the upcoming First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football State Championships has been drawn up and is ready to go.

The system, put in place by HHSAA head of officials Matt Sumstine, is awaiting the final seal of approval from the organization’s football committee when it meets next at a date not set yet, according to executive director Chris Chun.

It will be used only for the two Open Division semifinal games and all three championship games.


“A few things will be automatically reviewable,” Sumstine said. “Everything else will be a coach’s challenge.

The reviewable items are:

>> Anything that’s ruled a score
>> Anything ruled a fumble and recovery by the defense
>> Anything ruled an interception
>> A personal foul that is flagrant in nature (reviewable only for the disqualification aspect)

Sumstine was quick to point out that a ball ruled down two inches short of the goal line, for example, will not be automatically reviewable.

All other reviews will occur if a coach chooses to challenge a call. Coaches will get two challenges and if they are correct on both, they will be awarded another one. One challenge right and one wrong would not award another challenge.


For every challenge, a coach is assessed one timeout of the teams’ three per half. Coaches, however, are not assessed the timeout if the challenge turns out to be correct.

“As far as what is reviewable, it’s the same as college,” Sumstine said. “For instance, pass interference will not be reviewable.

“The rationale for what’s automatically reviewed and what’s not is to limit game disruption. On those automatically reviewed plays, the clock is already paused so they are logical things to review. For coaches’ challenges, we as officials do not want to disrupt the timing of the game. If a coach thinks that there was a mistake, he can challenge. We don’t want the onus to be on the replay official to stop the game when there is a questionable call.”

That is a big difference from the college game, when the replay official can stop the game at any time.


“We didn’t want to go down that route where coaches are expecting us to stop the game,” Sumstine said.

The state Open, Division I and D-II tournaments run the weekends of Nov. 15-16 and 22-23, with a tripleheader of title games at Aloha Stadium on Friday, Nov. 29.

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