Many sports have video referees now at the top level, with soccer being one of the latest additions. I was wondering which sport was the first to introduce video reviews, and when this happened. There's a list of sports with video review on Wikipedia, and the earliest reference there seems to be rugby league, the 1996 Super League. Is this really the first occurrence?

I'm aware that photo finishes are much older and can sometimes be rewound to produce some kind of motion, but I'd rather exclude those since they are more like stills than real video.

  • According to the Instant Replay wikipedia: The end of the March 24, 1962 boxing match between Benny Paret and Emile Griffith was reviewed a few minutes after the bout ended, in slow motion, by Griffith and commentator Don Dunphy. In hindsight it has been cited as the first known use of slow motion replay in television history. Because this was not for officiating purposes, it is a comment not an answer.
    – CGCampbell
    Apr 7, 2021 at 16:34

3 Answers 3


From Replay review in gridiron football:

The National Football League first adopted a limited Instant Replay system in 1986

More details on this can be found at e.g. Bleacher Report.


The "Grand Sumo" tournaments in Japan introduced video replay review in the May 1969 tournament. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2019/03/24/sumo/sumo-101-instant-replay/


Cricket adopted the "Third Umpire" in Test Matches in 1992.

The Third Umpire was an individual who reviewed a video replay of a line decision (Run Out, Stumped or Boundary). In later years, catches were also reviewed.

This Umpire was only invoked if one of the two on-pitch umpires called for a review.

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