In 2012 the SEC experimented with a wireless communication system for its officials. One goal was to allow officials to make calls quicker, without having to huddle for a discussion. Another was to provide quicker access and information to a replay official in the pressbox.
Last season, two SEC crews used the system. The league will continue to use the headsets in 2013 and coordinator of officials, Steve Shaw, says someday the SEC office wants to outfit all its crews with the wireless system. The NCAA recently decided to allow other leagues to use wireless communications as well. (The SEC had to ask for a waiver in order to conduct its experiment last season.)
“I think more conferences will go to it. One area that it really helped — and it’s going to be an area we feel more and more pressure in — is uptempo offenses and substitutions. This helps you manage the game because the umpire and ref can communicate.”
According to Shaw, use of the system cut game times by about three to four minutes.
Shaw also said that the SEC will experiment with adding an eighth on-field official during some spring games this year.