Welcome to Little League® - Baseball, Softball and Challenger
Translate:

Partners & Offers

Active Ad All and Snuggle Ad BombPop Ad BBFactory Ad Dudley Easton Ad Eteamz Ad ilead177 Gatorade heinz-ad177 Honda Kelloggs Musco Ad New Era Oakley Russell Ad Sams Club SKLZ SBFactory Ad Spalding Subway
 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2008 > Video Replay to be Used at 2008 Little League Baseball World Series

Video Replay to be Used at 2008 Little League Baseball World Series

Video Replay to be Used at 2008 Little League Baseball World Series

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (July 30, 2008) – Video replays will be used under limited circumstances for the first time at the Little League Baseball World Series, it was announced today. The 62nd annual tournament for 11-12-year-olds is scheduled for Aug. 15-24, the culmination of more than 16,000 games played worldwide to determine the World Champion.

The use of video replay will be limited to the case of a batted ball that leaves the field of play at or near the outfield fence, or should have been ruled out of the field of play at or near the outfield fence. Some examples of these types of batted balls are a home run, a double by rule, a ball that goes under the home run fence, and fan interference at the home run fence.

“We are able to do this because all 32 games are televised on the ESPN family of networks,” Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, said. “As we have seen even in the professional ranks, these calls are among the most difficult for umpires to make, for a variety of reasons. Using video replay, in very limited situations and on an experimental basis for one year, simply gives us a better chance to get these calls right. In 2009, we will evaluate the program and decide if it will be used again.”

When a play occurs that fits the criteria, a “Replay Team” composed of a Little League International Tournament Committee member (the Game Operations Replay Official) and a volunteer Little League Baseball World Series Umpire, will review the play on video provided by up to 12 camera angles from ESPN. If the Replay Team believes there is clear and convincing evidence to reverse the call made on the field, the decision will be relayed to the Umpire-In-Chief. If there is not enough evidence to reverse the decision, or if evidence shows the correct call was made, the play will stand as called on the field.

“From the beginning, we wanted our volunteer umpires, who pay their own way to come to the Little League World Series from all corners of the globe, to be involved in the decision-making process,” Dennis Lewin, Chairman of the Little League International Board of Directors, said. “Our volunteer umpires are second-to-none, so this simply provides them with another tool.”

Little League International will not extend the use of instant replay to calls of out/safe, ball/strike and fair/foul on plays inside the fence, nor for any thrown ball. No player, manager or umpire can request that video replay be used under any circumstance. That decision rests solely with the Replay Team, which will be located in an office at Howard J. Lamade Stadium, where most of the games are played. A second Replay Team, also located at Lamade Stadium, will be used for games originating at Little League Volunteer Stadium.

The Replay Team will view every play via a live feed from ESPN on a monitor. ESPN will provide the equipment that makes reviewing the plays possible.

“We applaud this move by Little League Baseball,” said Len DeLuca, ESPN Senior Vice President, Programming and Acquisitions.  “Replay will be appreciated by our fans and the many participants of this world class event.”

After the Umpire-in-Chief announces the decision by the Replay Team, it will be relayed to fans in the stadium by the Public Address Announcer.

“On these specific types of plays, there is usually a delay of a minute or more before play resumes,” Mr. Keener said. “Our Replay Team should have ample time to review all the angles and make a decision in that time. We really don’t expect there to be any significant delays.”

Should the schedule of games require adjustment because of weather delays, and if a game is not televised, video replay will not be used for that game.

“We want to thank our broadcast partners for offering to assist us on this initiative,” Mr. Keener said. “It only underscores once again how cooperative our friends at ESPN and ABC have been over the years.”

Discussions on the possibility of using video replay at the Little League Baseball World Series began at Little League International in late 2005, and did not involve ESPN until earlier this month.

In the 1980s, ABC first introduced the “umpire cam” at the Little League Baseball World Series. Starting in 2002, all 32 games of the Little League Baseball World Series have been televised by the ESPN family of networks nationally and internationally. Last year, Little League International and ESPN signed an eight-year contract that calls for at least 49 games to be televised nationally every August, not only in the Little League Baseball Division, but in all its divisions of baseball and softball.

Here is the Video Replay Rule:

Video Replay: At the Little League Baseball World Series level only, video replays may be used to reverse the decision made on the field, provided each of the following situations are in place:

1. The game is being televised or taped for televised replay.

2. The Replay Team must be at the replay facility, and must be able to review replays of the play in question from all camera angles available, through voice contact with the television producer.

3. The decision whether to use video replay rests solely with the Game Operations Replay Official and the Umpire Liaison, as the only two components of the Replay Team. Players, managers, coaches and umpires are not permitted to call for a video replay.

4. After the play in question, the Game Operations Replay Official will communicate to the Umpire-in-Chief that a play is under review, whereupon the Umpire-in-Chief will call “time.” The game will not resume until the Game Operations Replay Official informs the Umpire-in-Chief of the decision.

5. If another pitch or play takes place before the game operations official informs the Umpire-in-Chief that the play will be reviewed, video replay cannot be used.

6. For the purposes of this rule, the play in question will be considered as one continuous play, which may actually consist of multiple actions by players on defense and offense.

7. To reverse the decision on the field, the Game Operations Replay Official must determine that there is clear and convincing evidence to overturn the call on the field of play. In the absence of clear and convincing evidence, the decision of the umpire(s) on the field stands.

8. The only plays on which video replay may be used are those in which a batted ball leaves the field of play over the outfield fence, or if the Game Operations Replay Official believes there is a possibility that the ball should have been ruled that it left the field of play over the outfield fence, but is ruled otherwise on the field.

9. The outfield fence at both stadiums is defined as the fence or wall (including padding and signage) that extends in an arc from foul territory on one side of the field, into fair territory, then to the other side of the field in foul territory.

10. In no event will the decision on any batted ball that is declared “foul,” “dead,” “double by rule,” “home run,” or otherwise called out of play, be reversed so that the ball is live again.

11. This rule in no way restricts the traditional ability of the umpires on the playing field to gather to discuss a play, if the umpire who originally made the call wishes to do so.

Example 1: A fly ball near the foul pole is nearly caught by the right fielder, and the ball falls to the ground in the field of play. The umpire erroneously rules that the ball is in play. Upon review, the Game Operations Replay Official determines that there is clear and convincing video evidence that the ball struck the foul pole before touching the ground, and before it returned to the field of play. Ruling – The Game Operations Replay Official, through a Little League official at the field, instructs the Umpire-in-Chief that the call is reversed. The Umpire-in-Chief then awards a home run to the batter.

Example 2: A fly ball near the foul pole is nearly caught by the right fielder, and the ball falls to the ground in the field of play. The umpire erroneously rules that the ball is fair, and in play. Upon review, it is determined by Game Operations Replay Official that the ball was actually foul. Ruling – Because the ball did not leave the field of play, even though the incorrect call was made, the call cannot be altered using video replay.

Example 3: A fly ball near the foul pole is nearly caught by the right fielder, and the ball falls to the ground in the field of play. The umpire erroneously rules that the ball touched the foul pole in flight, and awards a home run (which is a dead ball) to the batter. Upon review, it is determined by the Game Operations Replay Official that the right fielder deflected the ball, and it did not touch the foul pole. As such, the ball should have been ruled in play. Ruling – Because there is no way to assume how the play might have progressed had the correct call been made, the call cannot be reversed, even if video evidence shows that the incorrect call was made.

Example 4: A fly ball near the outfield fence appears to have been caught by the outfielder, and the umpire erroneously rules the batter is out. Upon review, it is determined by the Game Operations Replay Official that the outfielder trapped the ball against the padding on top of the fence, and the batter should have been permitted to continue running at his/her own risk. Ruling – Because the ball did not leave the field of play, even though the incorrect call was made, the call cannot be altered using video replay.

Example 5: A fly ball near the right field fence at Lamade Stadium appears to have been caught by the outfielder, who reached over the fence and returned with the ball in his/her glove. The umpire erroneously rules the batter is out. Upon review, it is determined by the Game Operations Replay Official that the outfielder trapped the ball against the ground just beyond the outfield fence, and the batter should have been awarded a home run. Ruling – The Game Operations Replay Official, through a Little League official at the field, instructs the Umpire-in-Chief that the call is reversed. The Umpire-in-Chief then awards a home run to the batter.

Example 6: A fly ball near the right field foul pole clearly travels over the fence, and is erroneously ruled a foul ball by the umpire. Upon review, it is determined by the Game Operations Replay Official that the ball should have been called fair, and the batter should have been awarded a home run. Ruling – The Game Operations Replay Official, through a Little League official at the field, instructs the Umpire-in-Chief that the call is reversed. The Umpire-in-Chief then awards a home run to the batter.

Example 7: A fly ball near the right field foul pole clearly travels over the fence, and is erroneously ruled a fair ball (home run) by the umpire. Upon review, it is determined by the Game Operations Replay Official that the ball should have been called foul. Ruling – The Game Operations Replay Official, through a Little League official at the field, instructs the Umpire-in-Chief that the call is reversed. The Umpire-in-Chief then calls the play a foul ball and instructs the batter to return to the batter’s box.

Example 8: A fly ball near the backstop is erroneously ruled by the umpire as a catch by the catcher. Video evidence clearly shows that the ball hit a part of the backstop before being caught by the catcher, and it is clear that it should have been ruled a foul ball. Ruling – Since this type of play is not reviewable under the conditions of the rule, the play stands as called.