2021 Experimental Rule for Video Replay

NCAA is continuing with their experimental rule regarding video replay for the 2021 season. This experimental rule is an addendum to 5.9.9 under certain conditions.

In conference games (when two conference teams play each other in a conference game), including the conference tournament, the crew chief may initiate a review of designated plays at his/her discretion beginning with the 6th inning in any game. Additionally, each head coach has two challenges to initiate a review for the entirety of the game, which must be indicated before the next pitch, before the pitcher and all infielders have clearly vacated their normal fielding position and left fair territory, or before the umpires have left the field of play.

The following are the plays that shall be subject to review via initiation by the crew chief or via a head coach’s challenge:

1. Deciding if a batted ball called fair is fair or foul.
2. Deciding if a batted ball called a ground rule double or home run is fair or foul.
3. Deciding if a batted ball called foul that could result in a ground rule double or home run is fair or foul.
4. Deciding if the ball actually left the field on a home run. Any ball higher than the top of the foul pole when it leaves the field would specially not be reviewable.
5. Deciding on a foul tip/foul ball at the plate, including a dropped strike.
6. Spectator interference.
7. Deciding scoring plays at home plate inclusive of collisions (illegal and/or malicious slides), obstruction by a defensive player or timing plays.
8. All aspects of a scoring/timing play are reviewable to ensure a run rightfully earned is scored and to prevent a run from scoring which a team did not rightfully earn.
9. Obstruction and interference are reviewable at any base only if the play in question results or would result in the third out of an inning AND relates to a timing/scoring play.
10. Deciding if malicious/flagrant contact occurred. Umpires are allowed to initiate this review without requiring a coach’s challenge at any point in the game to ensure student-athlete safety.
11. Force/Tag Play Calls: Plays involving all runners acquiring the base before the defensive player’s attempt to put the runner out at any base.
12. Hit-by-Pitch Calls: Those plays for which there is a possibility that a pitched ball touches a batter or her clothing, which shall incorporate a review of the ball in relation to the batter’s box, if it is determined upon review that the ball hit the batter or her clothing.
13. Placement of Runners: An umpire’s placement of all runners (per the rules/case book) after any blocked ball call.
14. With runners on base, a no catch can be changed to a catch only if it results in a third out. With no runners on base, a no catch can be changed to a catch at any time.

The following criteria shall be used by conferences using video review:

1. All equipment should be tested by appropriate personnel before each game.
2. A ruling on the field will only be changed if there is indisputable video evidence to reverse the call. Absent that evidence, the original ruling on the field will stand.
3. A review must be verbally or visually indicated before the next pitch, before the pitcher and all infielders have clearly vacated their normal fielding position and left fair territory, or the umpires leave the field of play.
4. Coaches have 30 seconds to verbally or visually lodge a challenge.
5. The video review may be conducted on-site by the crew chief or by an off-field official at a centralized video review location.
6. If video review is conducted on-site by the crew chief, the video review area shall not require an umpire to walk through spectators or dugouts to view the coverage. At least one umpire must remain on the field.
7. During the video review, the defensive team shall maintain their position on the field and may warm-up if desired. Offensive base runners and the on-deck hitter shall maintain their position. Other personnel shall remain in the dugout. Any defensive or offensive conferences will be charged as during any other part of the game.
8. Once the review is completed, the crew chief will communicate the ruling to both head coaches and the official scorer using the following criteria. This should also be communicated to the broadcasting booth, if applicable, via the umpire who has a microphone.
a. Ruling on the field is confirmed;
b. Ruling on the field is reversed; or
c. Ruling stands due to no indisputable evidence to reverse it.
9. If the reversing of a call results in the need for decisions on the placement of base runners, the crew chief shall use his/her best judgment and/or the appropriate rule to determine where to place the runners as if the call had been made correctly
10. The final decision may not be argued by either coach. A coach who argues the final decision shall be immediately ejected.