It worked well in Texas — to decide its state 6A-1 football championship game, no less — and now the National Federation of State High School Association has approved use of instant replay the football postseason starting in 2019.
The NFHS Board of Directors approved the move last week, giving state associations permission to create procedures to use technology and replay to review decisions made on the field.
In front of 50,000 fans at AT&T Stadium, Dematrius Davis
completed a 45-yard Hail Mary pass to AJ Carter
on the final play of the Texas Class 6A Division I title game to give North Shore (Houston)
a 41-36 victory over Duncanville.
The touchdown did not become official, however, until both the catch, in the back right corner of the end zone, and that quarterback Davis did not cross the line of scrimmage, were confirmed.
Both calls on the field were correct, confirmed and North Shore not only took home the state title, but two days later, the national crown by MaxPreps.
The NFHS Board of Directors approved six other recommendations voted on by its rules committee in January, including a 40-second play clock opposed to the 25-second clock that is used currently.
There are six instances when the 25-second clock will continue to be used, including following a score or to start a period or overtime series, but otherwise states can implement the 40-second clock. Those states to implement the 40-second clock will likely have less scoring and allow teams to milk the clock with leads.
The rule was approved, according to the NFHS, to establish a more consistent time period between downs.
Also approved were expansions of the "horse-collar" penalty, more stringent rules against tripping and clearer identifications on jerseys. All state associations have the choice to accept, reject or table these rule changes.
The NFHS also presented participation numbers for football, according to a 2017-18 survey: 11-player football is the most popular for boys with 1,036,842 participants among 14,079 schools nationwide. Almost 30,000 more boys participate in either 6-, 8- or 9-player football, along with approximately 2,500 girls who played the sport. The numbers are down for 11-man football — 1,057,382 played in 2016-17 with 14,099 schools competing nationwide.