Video Review in 60 seconds: Your essential guide to video replay in soccer

Video Review officially launches in Major League Soccer beginning Saturday, August 5, 2017. Here are the basics:

1. Checks & Analysis

  • The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) is constantly checking and analyzing each of the 4 match-changing incidents to determine if there’s a clear and obvious error.
  • VAR alerts head referee to potential CLEAR & OBVIOUS ERRORS in the 4 match-changing incidents or serious missed incidents.
  • There is “open” and ongoing communication between the Referee and the VAR.
  • The VAR has access to, and may only use, video available to the broadcast.
  • If play restarts, previous plays cannot be reviewed (except for violent conduct and serious foul play)

2. View Review

Although a match-changing incident may not warrant a stoppage of play for further review, all such plays are being checked and analyzed for clear and obvious errors.

  • In cases of a potential CLEAR & OBVIOUS ERROR, the head referee can decide whether to conduct a Video Review by making the Video Review signal (TV box sign).
  • A Video Review takes place when play has stopped.
  • During a Video Review, the referee can either take information from the VAR AND/OR view replays via a sideline monitor.
  • NOTE: There are no time constraints to conduct a Video Review

3. Final Decision

Once a decision has been made it will be communicated as follows:

  • IN-STADIUM: An announcement by the PA announcer accompanied by the relevant video;
  • TV BROADCAST: The final decision and relevant video will be communicated to the match broadcasters.

4. Restart

  • Play resumes with the correct restart or drop ball.
  • Time used for Video Review is made up in stoppage time at the discretion of referee.
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