BCHL starts studying video review

The B.C. Hockey League began testing video review this past weekend.

Island Division teams having trouble scoring can look forward to a future when video review might determine that a few more pucks cross the goal line.

The B.C. Hockey League began testing video review this past weekend during a game between the Penticton Vees and the Merritt Centennials at the South Okanagan Events Centre. The technology will be used at all Vees home games, managed by an off-ice BCHL official.

“At the end of the day, we’re just trying to get it right,” said Brad Lazarowich, the league’s director of officiating, in a press release. “It benefits the fans, the teams and the BCHL; moving forward, this is a great direction for the BCHL to go.”

For now, video review will only be used to determine if the puck crosses the goal line. It won’t be used to judge whether a puck is knocked in by a high stick, kicking motion, or if a goal is scored with time left on the clock. Those calls will continue to be made by on-ice officials.

The idea was raised and discussed at the league’s annual general meeting this year and according to the BCHL, the Vees were the club most interested in implementing video review.

The league acknowledges that varying degrees of technology and resources at the arenas make it unrealistic to mandate the rule change league-wide. The BCHL will monitor video review in Penticton and report back to governors.