The B.C. Hockey League began experimenting last weekend with video review at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton.
Starting with the Nov. 19 Merritt Centennials at Penticton Vees game, video reviews at the SOEC were made available for determining whether a puck crossed the goal line. Managing the review process, should it come up, will be a fully qualified BCHL official who will be stationed off ice.
“At the end of the day, we’re just trying to get it right,” said Brad Lazarowich, the BCHL’s director of officiating. “It benefits the fans, the teams and the BCHL; moving forward this is a great direction for the BCHL to go.”
There will be no video-replay reviews of goals resulting from high sticks, kicking motions or if the puck crossed the line before the buzzer. Those situations will still have to be decided upon by the on-ice officials. Any replay will only be for determining whether or not a puck crossed the goal line.
“This is an initiative brought through the league board of governors in its continuing effort to improve the quality of our game,” said BCHL commissioner John Grisdale. “The idea came forward at our 2016 annual general meeting and Penticton was the team most interested in pursuing it.”
Varying degrees of technology and resources available at each BCHL arena make it unrealistic at this time to mandate league-wide implementation of video review. The BCHL will be following the process in Penticton and reporting back to the board of governors on its progress.