Refs retain right to review replays


The on-field referee — not the official in the booth — will continue to handle replay reviews in the 2012 season after NFL owners voted down a proposal to revert to the old system of having an official upstairs handle replays.

The Buffalo Bills, who proposed the change, made a strong case that allowing the upstairs official to decide replay reviews would streamline the process and shorten the delays during games while the referee goes under the hood to review plays. But the Bills failed to persuade a three-fourths majority of their fellow teams to adopt the change.

Where the replay rule has changed is on turnovers: Now all plays where there’s a turnover will be automatically reviewed by the replay assistant, and if that assistant thinks it’s a close enough call that it warrants a closer look, he’ll buzz down to the on-field referee to take that closer look. That’s the same change that was made with scoring plays a year ago, and it will mean the coaches will no longer have the option of throwing their red challenge flag on turnovers.

But what will remain the same is that referees will continue to have final say over all replays.

38 responses to “Refs retain right to review replays

  1. Bad dcecision. THe ref can’t seem to get it right. Some of their decisions, coming out of the hood are mind boggling.

  2. Owners: “Wait you say the new way will be faster? Hmmm… I don’t want it faster, I want our players to have more time to rest, and I want our fans to become more drunk and spend more.”

  3. the replay booth guy is looking at replay all game, every game… the Ref has to switch focus from live field to hood back to field…

    seems like it might be better to use the guy who is specializing in it full time…. just saying

  4. If games are shorter, there is less time for commercials. Less commercials means less money, did you really think they would change this? If anything they want to make the games longer.

  5. I’m assuming that since there is so much hate on the skins organization with the league, they will also have the right to purposely miss calls during their games this year. Just waiting for that to happen.

  6. Just a way to sell more ad space during the long wait for the process. Can anything be dumber than 20 million fans seeing it at home but only the referee is smart enough to figure it out.

  7. Since coaches don’t have to challenge scores or turnovers any more, shouldn’t they reduce the number of challenges they have available? What do they have to challenge – catches, and a score that should have been, but wasn’t given (ball position).

  8. The stratum doesn’t even work. Last years the saints scored a td against the bears and the RB’s foot went about of bounds, well they NEVER even reviewed the td which was the whole purpose of mailing EVERY scoring play reviewable. NFL IS DUMB.

  9. I think the outcome of most games is fixed by the refs anyway – they want to keep these kingpins in complete control of the outcome. The teams are so evenly matched that just 1 call here or there can swing the game. And thats the way they like it.

  10. Once again, the NFL misses an opportunity to make a fairly simple change that would greatly improve the flow of the game, and improve the accuracy of its officiating.

    Brilliant. smh.

  11. No problem.

    Just enforce the rules already on the books that the on-field official may not take more than 60 seconds to review the play. After 60 seconds, turn off the monitor and force the ref to make the call based upon what he saw in that 60 seconds.

    It should take no more than 30 seconds to get to the monitor, 60 seconds to review, and 30 seconds to get back on the field.

    That’s 2 minutes total. Have the league time the process and suspend referees who routinely take too much time.

    Problem solved.

  12. The way the Goodell is micromanaging the NFL, why not just let him make all of the replay decisions. That would keep him busy on Game Days.

  13. What they need to do away with is the Auto 1st down on defensive holding. That in itself has changed the outcome of more games than even the ridiculous pass interference spot foul. They are assuming the receiver could’ve caught the pass. Give something back to the defense. The game has become a joke with the main objective of Goodell to make the NFL AS MUCH MONEY AS POSSIBLE

  14. Most of you have already said what I wanted.

    “realitypolice” has hit the head of the nail square with the hammer.

    They should also penalize refs who time and time again make the wrong/bad calls. There is always talk about how when a player does this or that it looks bad for the league and then they fine or penalize the player. How about the refs that make the league look bad? They get paid to do the job for the NFL. Why don’t they get fined for doing something wrong the players, coaches or owners do?

  15. I don’t understand why the coaches aren’t allowed to challenge despite these “upstairs” reviews. If a coach wants to possibly waste one of his challenges even after they decided it doesn’t warrant a review, why not let him? There were at least a few times last year that these upstairs experts missed plays that should have been reversed.

  16. You people are so ignorant! You don’t remember that from 1986 to 1991, the NFL replay review system WAS controlled by the the official in the booth. I distinctly recall that some reviews took five minutes or more, which is why the system was dropped after six seasons and why the current system is in place. The current system is fine; it keeps control of the game on the field where it belongs.

  17. So we got any news about a Titus Young Rule? TD catch ruled out of bounds, coach out of challenges AND he was clearly inbounds for the TD but not reviewable because it was not ruled a TD on the field……….any change to that?

  18. Terrible ruling. What is not being said is that there are very significant statistical differences showing that some referees are extremely hesitant to admit their crew is wrong and over turn a call while others go ahead and change the ruling. Egos are at stake here and perhaps even the league’s grading system of officiating crews.

    How many times have we seen the ref go under the hood and we go to commercial. Three minutes later we’re back and he’s still looking at it. After a five minute delay he doesn’t make a change even though the TV analysts and everyone in the country watching could easily see that he should have.

    Pathetic that a solution is so obvious and they refuse to do it.

  19. I find it humorous that somehow moving it to the booth will makes things better. The head ref should be the best official on the field, that’s why he has that job and people want to turn this over to someone sitting in a booth? LOL The NFL has been there and done that. It didn’t work.

  20. Go the route of NHL and just have all reviews handled in the league office. The system in place now is archaic. It’s also stupid that coaches can’t review turnovers and touchdowns. Instead some flunky wanna-be ref gets all the power?

  21. So they wanted to keep the extra time for commercial spots, that just figures. The NFL pretends to care about what fans want, but proceed to do whatever makes them the most cheese.

    Another reason that I love the DVR. I love that I miss every commercial, pre, half, and post game show, long replays, etc. I love that I miss Flo and Dungy, Terry and Michael, whoever CBS has, all of the ESPN garbage, it’s great.

    Everyone should do it. Buy yourselves a DVR and the RedZone and watch football only…

  22. Why does the NFL consistently make the wrong decisions when it comes to the betterment of the game? My guess is that the NFL bigwigs are more interested in $$ than they are about the game/fans. It’s a shame they can’t seem to make a decent compromise. The college replay system is seamless and should be adopted in the NFL.

    They messed up the issue with turnovers just like the scoring plays of last year. If it is called a TD or turnover it will be automatically reviewed. The problem is that close plays that don’t get called (correctly or incorrectly) won’t be reviewed automatically. How people in charge can be so short-sighted is mind boggling.

  23. I think all of the reviews should be done in the booth. Say what you will but, I believe the home crowd has a subliminal influence on the ref under the hood. I’d like to see a study on how many replays turn out favorably for the home team. An official in the booth doing the reviews can ignore that influence much easier

  24. I wish they would have passed this and had the replay official make the call. It seems to work well in college and I don’t think they get as many bad calls as the NFL. Plus replay officials are anonymous so it would be harder for people to harass them or even pay them to cheat (if you worry about that type of thing). So they don’t have to worry about overreation from fans.

    With that said, I don’t think people really think out their comments. The NFL doesn’t make more money from there being more commercials. The networks make the money from the commercials and whatever portion they already agreed to pay the NFL goes to the NFL and any surplus is made by the networks. So the amount of commercials doesn’t decide how much the NFL gets.

  25. Then get better, less biased, and not blind referees please. The overall level of officiating last season was appalling to say the least. I say this as someone who had it help and hurt his team last year. Honestly some of the games looked down right rigged or predetermined.

  26. Great, more fine moments from Bill Leavy. Trained monkeys in a booth could do a better job than him. Classic case of the NFL whistling by the graveyard.

  27. Too bad. The games are prolonged way too long under the present system. Having the booths do the review makes a lot of sense.

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