In the NFL, a number of rulings can be reviewed by officials or challenged by coaches (see Instant replay). If a coach wants to challenge a play, he must do so before the next play begins, and he does so by throwing a red flag similar to the officials' yellow flags. Coaches are allowed two challenges per game and are granted a third if their first two are successful. The team loses a timeout if they lose the challenge. Therefore, they cannot challenge if they do not have timeouts. Plays within the two-minute-warning and overtime cannot be challenged; any review must be initiated by a replay official off-field. The referee performs the actual review via a video screen on the sideline. The referee will announce the result of instant replay reviews over his wireless microphone.
Beginning in the 2011 NFL Season, an instant replay review by the booth official will now be automatic for every play ruled by the referees on the field to have scored points. This is seen as another step in the "modernization" of sports. Every scoring play will be reviewed now, which saves coaches from using up their challenges on close plays in the endzone. And since the 2012 season, the booth official also reviews all turnovers during the game.
In college, coaches are allowed one challenge per game by first requesting a timeout. Otherwise, a replay official in the press box observes all plays. If he deems a ruling may be in error, he notifies the officials on the field to interrupt the game before the beginning of the next play. The replay official performs the review and relays the decision to the referee, who announces the result. Not every conference employs replay, which is optional.
High school rules do not provide for video review of any decisions by officials during the game. Further, the use of television or video tape for coaching purposes during the game is prohibited. If a coach feels a rule has been misinterpreted, he may call timeout and request a coach-referee conference to discuss the ruling with the referee, but no replay equipment will be consulted during the conference.
Read more about this topic: American Football Rules
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