fbpx

Kentucky Derby Raises The Continuing Question Of Whether Instant Replay Is Too Intrusive In Sports

Kentucky Derby Facing Controversy Everybody watches the game on TV. Even in the arena, on giant screens. Or at the scorer’s table, where basketball officials gather to decide whether...

Kentucky Derby Facing Controversy

Everybody watches the game on TV. Even in the arena, on giant screens. Or at the scorer’s table, where basketball officials gather to decide whether 1.1 seconds should be restored to the clock. Or on the football field, where the referee gets a video to peek at contested calls.

Horse racing has used replays for decades but seemed immune to major controversies on the track until Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. In the 145th Run for the Roses, Maximum Security crossed the finish line first, but an objection was filed. Stewards viewed the video and, after 22 minutes, upheld the objection, took down the winner and started a controversy that could end up in court.

Maximum Security clearly drifted across the sloppy track and impeded Will to Win. The owners of Maximum Security appealed to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on Monday and the appeal was rejected. So Maximum Security finished 17th after “winning” the race and then being disqualified.

Most of the folks involved with racing seemed to back the decision by the stewards. And blaming instant replay for this correction of an infraction committed on the track – a first in Derby history – is a mistake.

Yes, too often these fraction-of-a-second reversals of plays in football seem to make no sense. The game isn’t played in super slow motion – in fact, it’s way faster than it seems on television. And it gets tiresome to see basketball officials having to consult a TV over whether a shot was a 3-pointer or for how much time should be on the clock.

It’s also important to get calls right, which is why replay is part of every sport.

Maximum Security finished first but did so by veering across the track and cutting off competitors. That creates dangers and violates the rules.

So we’ve seen something we hadn’t seen before. And though Maximum Security’s owners are upset, the horse has had no comment.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

Follow @TwistityNews