Officials announcing the outcome of replay reviews might be used beyond this year’s women’s NCAA Tournament.
ESPN and the NCAA have been so pleased with the feedback that they will have offseason discussions about implementing not only for the tournament, but also during the regular season.
“I’d expect some of the other broadcast partners to be interested in adopting that,” said Penny Davis, the NCAA’s national coordinator of officials for women’s basketball. “We will train our officials for that, I do see that as a potential.”
ESPN used it at conference tournaments last month and then requested it for this year’s NCAA Tournament, It was first implemented by the NBA, beginning with last year’s games in the Orlando bubble. It was introduced because of coronavirus protocols that prevent officials from talking directly to announcers about replay decisions.
“It is a huge service to our fans, explaining exactly what the call on the floor is, what they are reviewing and the results of the review. We certainly appreciate the transparency from the NCAA officiating crew,” said Pat Lowry, ESPN’s coordinating producer for the women’s tournament.
Davis also noted that the feedback from ESPN and the announcers has been positive, and that fans see it as a service too because they are receiving explanations directly from the officials.
“It takes the rules and knowledge of the technical piece off” the announcers, said Davis. “Sometimes they use the terminology from the pro game or men’s game instead of terminology we have in the women’s game.”
AP Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg and AP Sports Writer Pat Eaton-Robb contributed to this report.
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