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Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018: Clutch play by teacher on behalf of student

   Leading off today: Indulge me for a moment since this story doesn't technically qualify as the type of high school sports story that typically finds a place in blogs here.

   But it's too good a story by too good a columnist, so I'm going to go with it. Besides, this is our second blog of the day.

   Sean Kirst of The Buffalo News told the story Tuesday of an absolutely magic moment at Sweet Home High School, where a teacher stepped in to pinch-hit for a special-needs student during an assembly to build teacher-student bonds. The assignment was straight-forward, literally and figuratively: If Steve Becker nailed a half-court basketball shot in the gymnasium, Arianna Ruhland would win a television that her family very much needed.

   You don't need to be a genius to figure out how the story ends, but you'd cheat yourself out of a wonderful story from Kirst if you didn't read the full account.

   Lots of money, little documentations: Today's early blog led off with the story from The Journal News shedding new light on the controversy surrounding last season's move of the Section 1 basketball tournament out of the Westchester County Center.

   As noted there, the story was part of an impressive package of stories about Section 1, the Lower Hudson Valley component of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.

   If the basketball story was good because of its in-depth examination of bickering surrounding the decision to move the finals to Pace University, then the story on the relationship between Section 1 and Southern Westchester BOCES was eye-opening because it shed light on the lack of documentation spelling out roles and responsibilities.

   The two organizations are keeping a sports operation with an annual budget of around $6 million up and running -- and everyone in the upper echelon seems to have a feel for who needs to do what -- but there's an amazing lack of documentation and institutional knowledge. Ask two people something so fundamental as how long Section 1 has been operating as a unit of BOCES and you might get three different answers.

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   You can read the full story here.

   Other stories in the package from The Journal News include interviews with current Executive Director Jennifer Simmons as well as designated replacement Todd Santabarbara.

   Video replay: New Jersey has dipped a toe into the use of video replay technology in high school football. took a look recently at how it works and how people are reacting to its use thus far.

   Under the rules, only turnovers and scoring plays can be reviewed. There is a limit to the number of challenges a coach can have, and reviews are done via HUDL technology on iPads. When a coach challenges a call, the referee and the official who made the original call go to a tent on the sideline to review the play in question. The referee makes the final decision and informs the crowd.

   "This is going to work," said Carmine Picardo, the head of NJSIAA's instant replay committee. "We have seen enough games, the technology works."

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