I decided to try and find an online stream of the end of the Cairns Taipans v Melbourne Tigers when I saw it went into overtime, and boy am I glad I did.
Not only was that one killer of an overtime period, but the ending saw the craziest thing I have ever seen in an NBL game. I didn’t know that in the NBL the refs could view the video replay if unsure of a call. I know in the NBA it’s allowed, in fact it’s required in certain situations. However, my understanding was that this was not allowed in NBL.
Before I go into this any further, let’s set the scene. The Cairns Taipans are up by two points. A shot that certainly looks like a buzzer beater is released by the Melbourne Tigers, but it’s not known if it’s a two or a three. Obviously, if it’s a two, we go into double overtime – the second time in two weeks for the Tigers. If it’s a three, the Tigers win, and the home team fans go home very, very disappointed.
The refs are so unsure that they are escorted to where the TV commentators are and view the replay with the refs. By this point, the replays have been shown on the TV feed two or three times already, so we already know what happened, but the teams, fans and refs have no clue.
The TV replay shows the first replay. It makes it clear the shot was the three pointer. However, the commentators make sure the refs stick around and see a second replay. This one makes it pretty clear that the Tiger hadn’t even left the ground when the buzzer went off, let alone released the ball. No basket. Taipans win.
At this point, the ref runs back onto the court, waves off the basket, and the crowd goes a little bit mental. But two things struck me here. Firstly, I had no idea that the rules allowed the officials to view replays. Secondly, why is there not the facility for these replays to be viewed at the score bench, encouraging the refs to use this when they aren’t sure. That way, there would be much less error in decisions, making games much better for fans and players alike.
Funnily enough, I was intending on writing a post about the NBL, and it was going to be something I’m not stoked with. But I will leave that for later.
I’m sure the NBL will clarify the rules if viewing the videos is not allowed, but I certainly hope it is, and I also hope the NBL invests in technology to make it a more accessible feature of basketball in Australasia.
Oh, and I just want to point out, that’s two straight overtime losses by the Melbourne Tigers, after losing to the Breakers at the NSEC in double overtime last week. That’s got to cut them deep, particularly with this one being so close – literally milliseconds from their grasp.