The United States Hockey League has approved Young Arena as the first building on the circuit with adequate infrastructure to allow referees to review controversial goal calls, the Waterloo Black Hawks announced Tuesday.

In the event of a disputed “goal” or “no goal” decision, on-ice officials will have the sole discretion to review their original ruling with replay technology and various camera angles which can help determine whether a puck completely crossed the goal line, whether a shot was batted or kicked into the net, or whether a redirection was made with an illegally high stick. As in the National Hockey League, the initial decision during play must be overruled by irrefutable video evidence in order for the call to be reversed. When “no goal” is the call on the ice, play will continue until the next natural whistle before replay can be utilized.

“Ultimately, the officials on the ice want to make the proper decisions on whether goals are scored legally,” said Scott Zelkin, the manager of USA Hockey’s Junior Officiating Development Program. “The ability to use replay when they feel it necessary is an excellent tool to make sure they arrive at the correct decision.”

Video review at Young Arena is possible following scoreboard renovations made at the rink over the summer. The Black Hawk County Gaming Association, Waterloo Black Hawks Hockey LLC, and the City of Waterloo invested more than $700,000 in a new video scoreboard and related technology. The upgrades included a pair of cameras mounted on the arena ceiling, which are permanently focused on the goal mouth and clearly provide an overhead view of the goal line. Both the arena video board and the video review technology are possible through the efforts of a production staff which includes at least six technicians and professionals from Metro Studios of Cedar Rapids.

“At this level, skill development is the most important thing we can provide to players, coaches, and officials, and the new technology available at Young Arena helps that cause for all,” said Waterloo Black Hawks Vice President Mike Falk. “From the time the USHL indicated that they were interested in making video review part of the game, we wanted to be at the forefront of this innovation.”

If necessary, video review will be available during the next Waterloo Black Hawks home game on Friday versus the Muskegon Lumberjacks.