The Southeastern Conference will expand its football collaborative instant replay process to include a sideline monitor for use by on-field officials, beginning on Thursday night as Texas A&M hosts Texas State in College Station, Texas. The monitor, which will be positioned at the officials' sideline headset location, will be utilized for viewing by the game referee during every official instant replay stoppage of play.
"We continue to look for opportunities to enhance what I believe is the most effective instant replay system in college football," SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey stated. "Our commitment to supporting correct officiating outcomes will continue to hold a high priority."
The game referee will see what the replay official in the stadium is viewing and discussing with collaborative replay officials in the SEC Video Center. This added visual element will allow the game referee to better communicate replay decisions to head and provide a more specific announcement to fans in attendance and viewing on television.
While the referee will be able to participate and provide input about the ruling on the field and the replay review in progress, the decision to confirm or overturn a call will still be maintained by the replay official in the stadium replay booth working with the collaborative replay officials located in the SEC Video Center.
Collaborative instant replay was first adopted in college football by the SEC in 2016, with three instant replay officials at the SEC Video Center working in conjunction with the replay official at each stadium to establish a collaborative decision when instant replay stoppages occur. Prior to implementation of the collaborative replay process, the referee had a headset which allowed audio-only communication between the field and the instant replay booth.
The sideline monitor will be an addition of the DVSport instant replay technology currently utilized by the SEC. Every play is reviewed by instant replay, but game stoppages only occur when time is required for additional video review of a play.