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Oklahoma City Thunder: What happens during a replay review

by Berry Tramel Published: July 20, 2012

The NBA has altered its replay review policy. Officials now will review all flagrant fouls to determine their severity, and replay also will be used in the final two minutes to check on goaltending calls and block/charge calls, as they pertain to the arc.

My pals on the Thunder stat crew — I’ve known many of them for years, long before the NBA was a gleam in our eye — deal with the referees as they request a video review. One of them told me more about the process, so I thought I would share it with you:

“I actually get the review TV ready for the refs. The NBA process, the refs and our crew do a great job, in my opinion, of trying to keep the time down as much as possible for a review.

“You probably know, but in the middle of the action, if refs know they want to do a replay, they signal to us (hand above head twisting it in circle)….then if I have a quick break calling out stats to Gary I will notify the production truck (through headphones ref uses) that the refs want to see replay of the specific play (I can usually tell which play they are referring to like if it was 3-pointer or not, etc)…so the TV production truck will have all angles ready when the refs grab the head phones (that eliminates quit a bit of time). The refs know we call back to the truck.

“Then on the replay machine there is a 2:00 timer and I would say they go past 1 minute maybe 25 percent of the time. They can usually tell right away if like a foot is on the 3-point line. Then refs discuss replay as a team and go then inform us and announcer the final call.

“Then we have to put in the computer/program what was reviewed (play # and time as well as what was the original call and was final call).

“Last note: if we do a good job of having replays ready and the angles ready, the refs usually say thanks to us. They don’t like long breaks either. So while I agree with you the last two minutes ALREADY go snail’s pace, I also agree with technology we have we should make sure a pivotal call at end of game is made correct … and to me the NBA process goes fast and we always strive to make it as fast as possible.”



by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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