interesting idea from N.J. ruling

Subject: Use of Instant Replay for Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts, and Kickboxing Matches

As some of you already know, New Jersey allows a combative sports contestant to appeal a decision made by the referee during the course of a bout. This appeals process, which is free, consists of a Commissioner's review and if requested, a full Board Members hearing. Obviously, this process does not start until the bout has concluded and the outcome ( i.e. decision) of the bout has been rendered and announced.

The use of instant replay would allow the Commissioner's review to commence in a more timely fashion, namely, on the night of the bout itself.

The use of instant replay would allow the Commissioner to review a controversial decision or a missed call and apply the proper and just ruling for the benefit of the contestants, fans, promoter and all involved or interested parties.

It seems very logical to embrace this technology given the amount of money and prestige that is at stake during contests. Furthermore, available technology should be utilized if it helps to render a more fair and equitable outcome.

In fact, instant replay is often already provided to the spectators when replays are shown in between rounds on screens at the arena and also during the television or web broadcast. Instant replay is already in place for several other types of professional sports.

We are very proud of the outstanding referees that we utilize in our State, however, no referee can be expected to always make the right call with absolute accuracy. A simple mistake or oversight that can be corrected, should be corrected.

We will be notifying all promoters, by copy of this release, that instant replay can be utilized during combative sporting contests to review a referee's call or lack of a call. To be clear, instant replay will be utilized at the discretion of the lead promoter. This agency will not force a promoter to utilize instant replay, but we will not deny the promoter the opportunity to do so. This agency does not have the technology readily available, so it will be up to the promoter to provide the necessary equipment.

The use of such technology would allow the Commissioner to review issues such as:

knockdowns versus slips,

accidental versus intentional fouls,

if a cut was the result of legal strike,

if a fighter beat the count,

low blows, and

whether or not a strike landed before the bell rang.

The Commissioner, if approached during a round by the contestant's chief second, would review the issue at the end of the round. The bout would be temporarily stopped during the rest period and the Commissioner would have a maximum of three minutes to render a decision or choose to reserve his judgment because further review is needed. Upon the Commissioner's ruling, the bout would then be restarted and would continue.

This policy will immediately go into effect for all regulated professional boxing, mixed martial arts and kick boxing contests held here.

With skilled officials and experience, this could be great!

Should be some penalty for overusing it though?

Will Zuffa one day take credit for this New Jersey innovation as well?