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Procedure for evaluating officials getting makeover


The NFL has used a grading system for years to determine which officials would be called upon to work the playoffs. However, Dean Blandino, the league’s new director of officiating, is tweaking the formula of how officials are graded.

According to Jarrett Bell of the USA Today, the grading of officials will now have them slotted into one of three tiers based on their performance throughout the season. Officials in the top-tier are eligible to work postseason games.

It’s a shift from the numeric grading system of the past used by the league. Officials used to know exactly where they ranked among their positions on a 1-17 scale. Now they will only know which tier they currently stand in. The thought behind the shift is to have officials focus more on making the correct decisions than worrying about how the decisions affect their grade.

“We’ve tried to get the word ‘grading’ out of our vocabulary,” Blandino said. “We felt that officials historically – not just in the NFL, but in any evaluation or grading system – sometimes tend to get so caught up in the grades, they lose sight of what we want them to say: ‘This is an incorrect call, and here’s what you can do better,’ rather than, ‘I got a downgrade. Now I’m just worried about fighting that downgrade.'”

How it will tangibly affect the postseason assignments (if at all) remains to be seen, but any move to improve the quality of officiating in the postseason seems to be a good step.

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8 Responses to “Procedure for evaluating officials getting makeover”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Sep 20, 2013 12:21 AM

    I recommend a brand new full custom construction on a fresh empty lot.

  2. elmustardo says: Sep 20, 2013 1:24 AM

    Tier One:
    Destructive to the concussion and injury lawsuits.

    Tier Two:
    Indifferent to the concussion and injury lawsuits.

    Tier Three:
    Proactive to the concussion and injury lawsuits.

  3. jimthebuilder27 says: Sep 20, 2013 1:27 AM

    How about fining the officials? Based in missing blatant calls and their terrible calls that might be a better solution!

  4. mrpowers88 says: Sep 20, 2013 2:30 AM

    I guess I see it working, but there isn’t too much difference between “grading” and “ranking”

  5. dcapettini says: Sep 20, 2013 4:29 AM

    We need professional officials, not part-timers. They get paid like full time employees and have a pension plan. Make them train in the off season; lots of tape. Use guys with more situational awareness. And, completely eliminate “make-up” calls and ticky-tack calls made because they are offended by certain players or teams. Like I said “professionals”.

  6. nomadcpa says: Sep 20, 2013 4:40 AM

    Does this mean they’ll call holding in the Superbowl?

  7. sportsmeccabi says: Sep 20, 2013 6:33 AM

    Tier 1: Replacement official
    Tier 2: Real NFL official
    Tier 3: Actual nfl official

    I want the replacements back. At least when they screwed up, they screwed over the other team to make it even.

  8. melikefootball says: Sep 20, 2013 1:23 PM

    How about fines, refs have caused many players to be fined when they throw the flags, yet in the same breath the next game the next refs don’t flag for the same play. One thing about the replacements that was refreshing they called what they saw. Toooooo many rules and not coincident in calls on these rules.

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