The Major Arena Soccer League announced today video review procedures for the 2022 Ron Newman Playoffs.

The MASL is implementing video review assistance for the 2022 playoffs in the form of an in-game Coaches’ Challenge procedure. The objective of video review (VR) is to improve the game in terms of fairness and accuracy. Its use is not meant to “re-referee” the match, but rather assist the referees in correcting “clear and obvious errors” and deal with “serious missed incidents”. The goal is not to achieve 100% accuracy for all referee decisions as a human element consisting of subjectivity is present in all sports.

During the game, VR can be initiated by the head coach through a Coaches’ Challenge procedure. Each team will be permitted (1) one challenge during regulation play that will initiate a VR. The head coach will signal a challenge by throwing a flag onto the field of play before play is restarted following a potential challenge situation.

Indisputable video evidence, in the judgment of the referees must be present to overrule the decision made on the field. If the video replay is unclear or does not show the incident under review in a definitive manner the original decision on the field will remain. The crew chief will make a final decision and there must be evidence that a clear and obvious error has been committed. The original referee decision will only change if the VR confirms it was clearly wrong.

Situations in which video review (VR) is permissible:

1. Blue card 2-minute power-play time penalty

a. Foul only is called on the field: a coach may challenge that a blue card should have been given

b. Accuracy of a given blue card: a coach may challenge that a blue card was possibly given incorrectly.

c. Penalty Area: incidents resulting in a PK incorrectly awarded OR a PK offense not penalized.

d. Shootout: verification of whether the required criteria of shootout rule 14.7 was met.

e. Faking or Embellishing: a player’s action which lead to a blue card given.

2. Possible Direct Red Card

3. Fouls Not Called: potential foul that directly led to a goal being scored

4. Major Rules Errors

5. Goal / No goal: related to whether the ball wholly crossed the goal line, prior to the end of the period (the referees will initiate this VR, a coaches’ challenge does not need to be utilized)

Process Overview:

Once the coach initiates a challenge by throwing the challenge flag onto the field, the coach must communicate to the referee which of the five permissible review situations the challenge is based on. Once accepted the referee will indicate a VR by making the sign of a TV screen with both hands.

A review can only take place when play is stopped. If necessary, the referee can stop play when it is in a neutral area (i.e., neither team is in an attacking position).

There is no time limit as accuracy is more important than speed. The length of time depends mainly on the complexity of the incident and if there are several reviewable aspects and camera angles. However, the goal is to have plays reviewed in under 90 seconds from the time the video feed is available for viewing.

A decision cannot be reviewed or changed if play has restarted after a stoppage of play.

The referees must always make a decision/call on the field prior to VR. (i.e., the referee is not permitted to give ‘no decision’ and then use VR to make the call).

VR will be initiated by a coaches’ challenge process. The referees however can initiate a VR if a team is out of challenges only when the referee has a strong sense that a clear and obvious error has been made and the incident has a potential major impact on the game.

If play continues after an incident which is then reviewed, any disciplinary action taken or required during the period is not canceled even if the original decision is changed.

Players must not surround or attempt to influence the referees during the VR. All players must retreat and remain in the vicinity of their team bench. Once a decision is made based on VR, one captain from each team will be permitted at the referee crease to receive the VR decision

Should a game proceed to overtime, each team will be permitted (1) one challenge during overtime.