Poor camera work and possibly an ineffective official cost East Washington three points in their season-opening game in Idaho on Saturday.
Big Sky Conference officials – who appear to be Judge Ben Scheffers on the bench – hit a right-handed 24-yard field goal from Sath Harrison in the fourth season, but he was out of position and not seeing the kick as he His mask was moving towards him as the balls were adjusting.
Harrison and Eagles coaches protested that the kick hit the bottom of the scoreboard upward, but the call stood up for video review. For a view, here is how high the scoreboard and the scoreboard are from each other in the end area of the kibi and dome.
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A second breakdown occurs on the play: Ripley Booth could not tell whether the ball hit the scoreboard due to poor live video and lack of other camera angles of the kick.
The live shot was a field-level look from behind Eastern Washington, with cuts upside down. There were cameras above the end zone behind the bulge, but it is unclear whether they were part of the broadcast of Big Sky.
Uhh Eastern Washington's kicker only kicked a 22-yard field goal and something happened and the ball hit the scoreboard after going overboard and the refs messed up and just looked around and called it no good. Holy shit it's worse than the 5th below. pic.twitter.com/apT5r9cJlD
– Graham Coffee (@DawgOutWest) February 28, 2021
With Ripley Booth unable to see the ball on the scoreboard, and without a secondary video to confirm, Eastern Washington was out of luck.
A field goal would give Eastern Washington a 24-21 lead with 11 minutes to play. Idaho won the game 28-21 on a touchdown in the final minute.
Big Sky did not comment on the call as of early Sunday.
Update: The conference said in a statement Sunday night that it reviewed “additional video footage” and determined that the officer missed the call. It also stated that the kick was not reviewable as the ball went from the top to the top.
The conference states that the physical setup of the scoreboard and catwalk directly overhead in this endzone (Six) of the Kabaddi Dome creates unique conditions. “In view of these situations, Big Sky is evaluating mechanics where officials are in a better position during a field goal or extra point attempt to evaluate these types of plays.”