PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL announced on Monday that the league will utilize video replay in all 27 of its buildings for the 2019-20 season for goal review. For the first time in ECHL history, referees working league games will be able to review video streams from overhead cameras located above each goal and make decisive rulings directly from the ice using a tablet device.
At the referee’s discretion, the following circumstances are eligible for instant replay and subsequent ruling:
- Puck crossing the goal line
- Puck entering the net using a distinct kicking motion
- Puck directed, batted or thrown into the net by an attacking player
- Puck entering the net before the goal frame is dislodged from moorings
- Puck crossing the goal line prior to time expiring
This year, the league’s Board of Governors approved a pilot program to test video replay review at four arenas: CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho; Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan; Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio; and DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts.
To power the new ECHL video replay system, the league has teamed with Sporfie, a venture of NAGRA. Once installed, the solution will also give each team access to Sporfie’s Instant Highlights capability, allowing marketing staff to instantly share video clips with fans on social networks.
“The ECHL had been looking for an instant replay system to implement league-wide, however, the solution needed to be cost-effective and nimble enough to work with the variations in venue setups and infrastructure we have across the League,” said ECHL Commissioner Ryan Crelin. “After witnessing the success of Sporfie’s Instant Highlights solution with a majority of our teams, we saw an opportunity to leverage that technology for our officials as well. Just a few weeks after approaching the Sporfie team about Instant Replay, they delivered a working solution that we successfully tested this season on live games in four of our markets. We look forward to bringing this technology to our game in 2019-20 for both the integrity of our on-ice product and to supplement the fan experience.”
“We are thrilled and proud to have earned the continuous trust of the ECHL, its teams and its Board,” said Sami Karoui, head of the Sporfie venture for NAGRA. “Our relationship with the ECHL started with just one team, growing organically to two, then five, twenty, and now the entire league. While our partnership initially developed around providing our Instant Highlights solution to fans and team marketing staff, Instant Replay came as a natural extension, this time capturing moments for referees.”
Launched in 2016, Sporfie allows anyone, from parents at youth games to marketers and officials at the professional level, to easily and instantly capture, replay and share sports highlights without filming or editing. By focusing on creating a product that is accessible across multiple levels of play and applicable to a wide range of use-cases, Sporfie was able to design a professional solution that is simple, flexible, and highly cost-effective for teams and leagues.