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
For the 2018-19 Season, the ECHL 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.
About the ECHL
Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 27 teams in 20 states and two Canadian provinces for its 31st season in 2018-19. There have been 658 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including 17 who have made their NHL debuts in the 2018-19 season. The ECHL has affiliations with 25 of the 31 NHL teams in 2018-19, marking the 22nd consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available at ECHL.com as well as on Twitter and Facebook.
Sporfie, a venture of NAGRA–a Kudelski Group (SIX:KUD.S) company, is a sports video platform that gives individuals and teams the power to capture, replay and share personal highlights instantly and without the distraction of filming or editing. Based in Phoenix, Arizona, Sporfie was founded in 2016 in Switzerland and since then has worked globally with sports teams and organizations ranging from youth to professional. Learn more about Sporfie at sporfie.com, or connect with us on Twitter. For more information about NAGRA, please visit dtv.nagra.com.