What is NBA Replay Center?

On the court, there are 3 officials in total. The lead official is called the crew chief. The remaining two officials are known as referees. You can complain all you want about these NBA referees. They know that they too miss calls in a basketball game

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Every decision they make, they know half of the audience will like it. The other half won’t. Surely, referees aren’t here in the NBA to make friends. They need to act like neutral. But when fans, players and coaches are constantly pushing and pulling you this way and that, then it becomes really hard to keep check of your emotions

There comes NBA replay center to help officials in making a decision incase there is a tough call. They do it handsomely without disrupting the momentum of the game at all

After more than two years and $15 million in development, finally NBA replay center was launched in the 2014-15 basketball game season. That is a new state of art; a mission control for NBA’s ambitiously revamped video-review system. The brand-new NBA Replay Center location is in Secaucus, New Jersey. The NBA Replay Center is fueled by a groundbreaking high-speed arena network. This therefore improves the performance of NBA referees and accelerates the replay review process in a great fashion

A look inside the NBA Replay Center

The bandwidth capacity of the new network can download more than 158 million documents within just 30 minutes or so. The NBA replay center has 29 NBA arenas. All the arenas are directly connected to the Replay Center in Secaucus, New Jersey

The replay center features 20 work stations, 17 replay operator stations and 3 replay manager stations. Each of the replay operation station operates with three monitors. Overall, the NBA replay center New Jersey is equipped with 94 HD monitors

How does it work?

Replay Center’s work stations has a three-monitor set up. Left monitors show a view of all available camera angles of a game. You need to select those by tapping. As a result, a full screen view of the selected angle shows up in the middle monitor. The operator then uses multi touch screen to crop and enlarge a part of the video. And what you are displaying to referees on the courtside will be showed in the right monitor.

If the system needs it, then they absorb 12 broadcasters and all possible camera angles. Therefore, when a team calls for a review, the raw video is edited into crucial clips within a second. Then it is beamed back to the arena for the courtside review

Every replay runs through the Secaucus. Dozens of operators then quickly cue up and edit clips to help officials make a decision on close calls. If needed the referees are provided with a multi angle, time-synced video mosaic in their courtside monitors

When a referee comes to a scorer’s table to request for another look, the operator calls out the review. Then a replay manager come over to the operator’s station to take charge. At the arena crew chief communicates with the replay manager via headset. The third monitor at replay center shows exactly what the referees are looking at

Other inclusions

a. To facilitate the on-court reviews, there will be at least one current NBA referee with the task to moderate in the replay center. It can go up to four, depending on the game schedule

b. If the replay center has the final say, only crew chief will go to the scorer’s table. He will see the definite angle on video and hear the decision from replay center

c. Though sometimes the decision has to be made by the on-court officials, then two referees will go to the table to review the video and discuss the event with the replay center

d. A call will only be overturned if there is “clear and conclusive” evidence

Replay review outcomes to be determined by referees in the Replay Center:

1. 2 point/ 3 point field goal (made shot or fouls shot)
2. Made basket-End of period
3. Out of bounds
4. Shot clock violation (on made field goal)
5. Goaltending/ basket interference
6. Clock Malfunction situation (non-foul/ non violation)
7. 24 second shot clock reset
8. Number of players on the court

Replay review outcomes to be determined by On-Court Referees:

1. Flagrant foul
2. Clear path to the basket foul
3. Off ball foul
4. Player alteration
5. Foul-End of period
6. Shot-clock violation (involving foul call)
7. Correct free throw shooter
8. Clock malfunction situation (foul or violation involved)
9. Restricted area

In the past

Video replays are not a new inclusion to the NBA. Since 2002, it has been a part of NBA. But those calls were only to check buzzer-beaters and last second fouls. Now, there are 15 types of call to trigger review from the referees. Nowadays, it has become an integral part of the game. The replay system has improved exceedingly well than ever before 

Earlier, the referees needed to speak with television broadcaster crews to review a call. From the statistics, we see a referee can end up talking to over 50 different people for replays in one season. There was not just lack of synergy but also consistency in that process. In addition to that, they all don’t speak the same language either. But the situation is changing gradually. The masterminds of NBA, all they are trying to do is what’s best for the game

Final Words

The 2013-14 NBA Finals and then 15 regular season games were used as dress rehearsal for the NBA replay center Secaucus NJ. NBA broadcasts live look ins to facilitate in-arena replay review. This is to cut down on the length of reviews. It makes things easier for on court officials to focus on their job properly. It is easy to provide multiple angles, split screens and freeze frames. This helps them to make calls faster and most importantly, more accurately 

It definitely makes sense why NBA did choose to go with replay center. And it was not just designed with referees on mind. This was also created to enhance the fun experience

Fans who are watching at home can get a live view of what the officials are looking into. The fans who are in arena can also get to see the various replays on the jumbotron. Not infront of your TV-set? No worries. Log into your twitter account and get updates within two minutes of a call being reviewed

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  • Updated July 13, 2020
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