Case in point: Stamps are charged with roughing the passer when a defender punches the air in celebration. This punch is mis-interpreted by Ireland who from his vantage point believes was a malicious act aimed at the QB. The flag thrown and the penalty immediately called without consultation.
Is it standard practice for judgment calls to be made and upheld by any individual official without discussion or consultation?
Referees have no problem debating the legitimacy of touchdowns, fumbles, ball spots, play in bounds or completions. These are black and white calls for the most part. I can't recall subjective calls being discussed in any way. Am I to believe not one of the on-field officiating crew could correct Ireland on this call? Does there exists the provision for referees to confer and perhaps pick up the flag for these erroneous judgment calls or will we have games decided by these poor calls?
I think that with every critical penalty, (that is, calls that decide the continuity of a drive or standing of a score) each official should have to signal or raise his hand to acknowledge agreement with the flag or conceding that they had no view on the play. Any official who signals otherwise would then be consulted in an attempt to reach a consensus on what ACTUALLY happened. This would apply on judgment calls or not.
Have a TV official in the booth signal down to the referee on a subtle headpiece like those worn in UEFA and Premiership soccer referees. The contention with the use of replay in general has always been the delay in the flow of the game. I for one would not be opposed to having feedback come in from the video booth (even on subjective penalty calls) if the referee was able to be consulted with replay information on the fly, seamlessly, without delay. What I'm saying, is any use of replay should be decided by an official in the booth and not on the field-side box. It would save time especially if the on-field ref was on an ear piece.
Instead of what we had in the Calgary-BC game this situation may have played out:
Jake throws the flag and looks immediately to his crew. All but one of the officials signals acknowledgment in the penalty. Ireland talks to the dissenting official who pleads that the BC defender merely punched the air. After the dissenting official indicates he was 100% positive there was no malicious intent, Ireland proceeds to announce that there is no flag on the play. The game continues with a more accurate account of officiating.
If no one on the field caught the mis-call, Ireland checks quickly with the booth over his microphone. Through his ear piece, the booth indicates there may have been a mis-interpretation and quickly looks over it again. The booth reports in a matter of seconds that the punch clearly seems to have been a case of celebration with no aggression shown against Pierce. Again, Ireland picks up the flag.
Lets say Ireland got it right. He looks to his crew who all signal agree or concede the decision to Ireland. He then quickly checks 'booth' perhaps by simply saying 'booth' and they reply 'agree'. The game continues seamlessly.
I know it sounds ideal, but I honestly believe there exists both the technology and on field system to call better football games. This without yet addressing the talent pool and quality of training.