YESTERDAY, League Express ran a Twitter post asking people whether a captain’s challenge should be introduced in Super League.
The vast majority of responders said yes, whilst former Super League referee Ian Smith pointed out that it would be a ‘non-starter’ without having a video referee at every game.
With that in mind, having a video referee at every game is something that the NRL already has to ensure that there is a level-playing field and that some teams are not advantaged on one weekend and then disadvantaged the next.
Such a policy should be introduced in Super League. There has already been the argument of a video referee at every top flight game in a bid to instil consistency within the sport, but in doing so, it would also allow for the input of a captain’s challenge rule.
The challenge enables the captain of both teams to check a referee’s decision if they feel hard done by. A number of decisions in recent years have been overturned because of the rule, but if the challenge is unsuccessful then teams lose the ability to challenge a decision for the rest of the game.
In that sense, there is jeopardy in the ruling which lends to a more exciting game as a whole, but it also helps the referee in a way by ensuring video referee help in a controversial or major decision.
There is also the argument of having every Super League on television to lend referees a hand in terms of try decisions.
Without a video official, referees have a split-second to make a decision and sometimes this can be the wrong one – after all referees are just human.
With the ability to refer a contentious decision to the video official, decisions will inevitably have a greater accuracy.
Of course, there is the issue of cost involved and ensuring video officials at every Super League game will not come cheap, but it is perhaps essential in the long run for the sport.
That being said, as well as ensuring an extra video referee for every game, where will the extra officials come from if a number of games are scheduled for the same day?