Georgia bill calls for instant replay in high school football playoffs

A state representative whose district includes parts of Peach County has introduced a bill to the General Assembly that would require instant replay to be used in Georgia high school football playoff games.

House Bill 667, sponsored by Rep. Patty Bentley (D-Butler), comes in the wake of the 2017 Class AAA championship game between Calhoun and Peach County in which a missed official’s call went against Peach County late in the game. Calhoun won 10-6.

The play that caused the controversy was a pass caught by a Peach County receiver for what could have been a touchdown or first-and-goal inside the Calhoun 1-yard line with about 3:30 left. Instead, the pass was ruled incomplete.

Replays provided by Georgia Public Broadcasting, which televised the game, confirmed the ball was caught. Video evidence is not allowed during games or even afterward in aid of appeals or protests, according to Georgia High School Association rules. That is consistent with national federation rules.

‘’Technology is so advanced now, there’s no reason they should not have this already in place," Bentley told the Macon Telegraph.

GHSA executive director Robin Hines has indicated that his association would consider instant replay. “You never want to rule anything out,” he told the AJC last month. “The technology exists, and it would be shortsighted not to consider (replay review).”

Bills have been effective in persuading the GHSA to action in the past on issues ranging from the classification of public and private schools to the adoption to the participation of players and teams in all-star games and post-season tournaments.

The Peach County-Calhoun controversy has been slow to simmer among Peach County supporters. A petition was introduced earlier this month to purchase rings for the players and coaches that declared them state champions.