Monday, October 30, 2006


Reader Participation: In-House Arena Replay Rules

My pal from Czechia, Michal, had a good question about NHL in-house replay rules that I couldn't quite answer perfectly.

I need small help regarding TV replays on games - do they regularly replay questionable moments of the game (fouls, fights, offsides, allowed/disallowed goals etc) on big TVs in arenas ?

I can't find anything in the official rule book about what the people who control the arena jumbotrons and video screens are allowed and not allowed to show during the course of a game. Even Lyle "Spector" Richardson was stumped.

So, this is what I know/think is true. If anyone knows better, we'd appreciate the feedback. I've heard many things on TV about how the NHL didn't want certain things shown in order not to undermine the on-ice officials who may have just blown a call. Of course, watching the game on TV at home allows you to see every single thing.

Fights - Never shown. The NHL wants to discourage fighting. I know they don't show them at Vancouver Giants games, either.

Off-sides/Icings - Never shown. The NHL does not want these calls shown and it's frustrating to me not to be able to see them.

Penalties - As far as I know, they do show them.

Goals - Allowed goals are replayed of course, but how about disputed goals and goals under review? I've heard about the NHL wanting to prevent goals being reviewed from being shown until the video goal judge makes a call. Fans in the arena, in the past, could see the replays while the goal judge was pondering the evidence. The crowd reaction was obvious and we'd see, often enough, the goal judge make a decision contrary to the crowd's wishes. Obviously, the NHL doesn't want the judge to be swayed nor do they want their decisions questioned.

When I put a third mortgaeg on my condo and go to a Canucks game in the near future, I'll be sure to keep my eye on the replay board a bit more.

At Avs games, they don't even replay the opposing teams goals, which is really annoying. Pretty much all they show are the Avs goals.
Along with long lineups for over-priced warm beer, crowded bathrooms, horrible food, and not being able to actually yell anything at anybody (in most Canadian buildings, anyway) the lack of replays is another reason why going to a game is a complete waste of money.
I know they do show the fights at Dallas Stars games, but I can't recall ever having seen a disputed goal or penalty.
The 'Canes are pretty good about showing questionable things....but ONLY if the guys in the Canesvision booth think that it won't incite the natives and in turn incite the refs to put the screws to us.

The Wild, from my experience, show everything. So I think it's team-by-team.
In Ottawa you will never see anything that might be considered a "missed call." Nothing that might "show up" the refs makes the big screen. I always thought this was a league-wide thing.
1)Not surprising that a league that is scared to put the names of officials on their backs is also afraid that fans might actually see for themselves that they aren't perfect.
2) How many riots have started from showing a controversial call on the Jumbotron?
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