NFL has been studying NHL’s in-house replay system


When we mentioned during Sunday’s Football Night in America the possibility that the NFL will centralize replay review, also mentioned was that the NHL currently uses a similar system from its headquarters in Toronto.

As it turns out, the NFL has been studying the NHL’s system.

According to John Kryk of the Toronto Sun, an NFL representative spent the evening of November 30 in the NHL’s “Situation Room,” studying the manner in which hockey handled from one location the review of disputed goal calls and non-calls in 10 games that were played that night.

Making the trek to Rob Ford’s town was Jay Reid, who works in the NFL’s officiating department.

“He came in and watched us — and we’ve been communicating back and forth via email probably for about a month, about different things we do,” NHL senior V.P. of hockey operations Mike Murphy told Kryk.

“Jay came in and actually sat with us for probably three hours and watched how the whole room functions — how we operated at individual stations, how we operated in real time.  And he saw how we do it.  He asked people questions.”

Advances in technology have made the process more efficient, with “cyber-optic” video feeds allowing the images from the various arenas to be studied instantaneously.

As a backup to the NHL’s Situation Room, the league has one person at each game who can review the images and make decisions consistent with the habits of the central replay location.  For both the NHL and the NFL, consistency is the key.

“We do 1,230 games,” Murphy told Kryk.  “The same group of people work here every night.  They make the same decisions night in and night out.  We like to think we’ve brought more accuracy to it, which I think we have, because our technology has improved so much.”

The NHL’s situation room has become a popular place of late.  Per Kryk, the NBA and an Australian rugby league have visited in recent weeks.

But what about Canada’s equivalent to the NFL?  There’s no need for the CFL to stop by.  That football league adopted centralized replay review in 2006.

40 responses to “NFL has been studying NHL’s in-house replay system

  1. That theNHL has the best replay system of sports is not news. They also have the best “you made a bad play” system in sports. Most players can tell you the fine for the hit before hand because every hit is detailed on why it gets a fine and why the fine is what it is. The NFL fines are “mood of the NFL” based. The NHL says, “You hit him in the knee by accident that is a category X fine” “You hit him in the knee with intent, that is a category Y fine and category A suspension.” There is a documented system for repeat offenders. It has helped hockey a lot. It is not perfect but oh my is it better than what football has today.

  2. How about spending the money to hire competent full time officials so every other play doesn’t have to be reviewed. What we have now is a world class game officiated by Moe, Larry, and Curly.

  3. in the nfls first game in london they had to fill a 3 hour time slot. the game was going faster than they wanted so the nfl called down to the refs to slow the game down any way possible. later to find out the refs called some inexcusable calls to extend the game.

    in the nba a ref was caught fixing games and spent some time in prison.

    fifa just got nailed for fixing games as well.

    nfl is on the same course these refs are fixing games weather we like it or not. this is a multibillion dollar game with a lot of betting. i wonder how many of these refs are getting paid off. its not a matter of if its a matter of how many.

  4. It makes too much sense. It would speed the game up and let an independent official judge the accuracy of the calls. Of course the networks will lose the advertising revenue for the commercials they run during the long reviews, so we’ll see.

  5. everything needs to be reviewed teams can not be getting calls on monday or tuesday from the office saying im sorry we blew a few calls but you know we are human. oh but those mistakes just cost us the game dont worry about it we understand. yeah fans just invested in thousands of dollars to attend a game and the nfl screws them over by saying sorry.

    enough of this do the right thing and put everything even refs penalties up for replay during the game. no more bought off refs or botched calls is what they like to call them

  6. I think this will be good for the NFL. It will bring consistency to replay calls. Each official has their own interpetation of what a foul or fumble is. That’s human nature. I see this helping the game officials concentrate on in game live action with no need for the Referee to worry about whether he is throwing a memeber of his crew under the bus or not.

  7. The Situation Room in Toronto has been around for a while too, at least 10 years by my recolection. Even college has the booth do every review. Ever different official going under the hood can all have different interpretations. Better to keep it consistent

  8. Funny, i remember when the media and fans were crying that the only reasons an old broken down McCown was on the team was because Cutler made the coaches keep him.

    Cutler and McCown are tight because they are loyal to each other.

  9. Anything that will take the decision out of the hands of the likes of Jeff Triplett has to be an improvement.
    There have been multiple examples this year of calls that were challenged, were obviously the wrong call, only to have the arrogant and/or incompetent referee refuse to change the call.

  10. As a big fan of the NHL, I can tell you their system works really well.

    They have standardized camera angles (directly above the goal line and sometimes inside the net) and get 99.9% of their reviews correct.

    Contrast that with the NFL and the 50% of calls that can’t be confirmed or overturned because of “inconclusive evidence”. I think the centralized review center is a great start, but they also need A LOT more cameras set up directly along the goal line and out of bounds markers.

    It’ll require some minor investment by the NFL but prevent major headaches down the line and all the hand-wringing over refs each game.

  11. This is all a bunch of BS! There is nothing wrong with the current system other than you have a bunch of incompetent idiots who put their own interests ahead of the integrity of the sport! This is just an attempt by the NFL to quell some of the angst over their terrible officiating, nothing will change because there is to much money at stake and they have to be able to partially control the outcomes of games.

  12. Andddddddd the book makers owning the nfl get what they’ve always wanted with these rules changes disguised to promote safety…..out of sight control over the outcome of games.

    The nfl has turned into the wwf. Thanks rog

  13. whats to study? its a guy in abooth watching on a TV like the comfortable people at home and saying goal or no goal. In this case in bounds out of bounds TD or no TD. Much easier then watching Tripplet try to find the review booth and then talk to 4 refs and forget why he was standing over there.

  14. Love the NHL, but their replay system takes too long as well. It is better than the NFL’s though, and it’s worth it for the NFL to try it and have “professional” replay people make the decisions and take the pressure off the refs who have their hands full enough during the games as it is.

  15. An easier solution from the NFL would be to just adjust the rules of the game to make them clearer, and some treating officials like they have some sort of “tenure” in the league.

    The NFL has known Jeff Tripplett has been awful for years. Yet they bring him back each year, and allow him to make more bad calls.

    You would think in a league where they fine a coach 100k and a draft pick for effecting the game, would be outraged as the officials it employes, who do much worse on a daily basis.

    The NFL has become a league that contains an insane amount of double standards, and simply serves the agenda of lawyers more than fans or players.

    Roughing the passer has turned into the most inconsistent, ridiculous penalty in professional sports. No officials have a clue how to call it. And the NFL has no desire to fix it. Stuff like that would have to change before the games can be called better.

  16. buddysguys says:
    Dec 13, 2013 9:51 AM
    whats to study? its a guy in abooth watching on a TV like the comfortable people at home and saying goal or no goal. In this case in bounds out of bounds TD or no TD. Much easier then watching Tripplet try to find the review booth and then talk to 4 refs and forget why he was standing over there.


  17. Jeff Triplett may not be one of the better Referee’s in the NFL, but I do want to say thank you to him for his service. He received a Bronze Star for his service in the Persian Gulf War.

  18. The NHL system is quick and efficient. I’ve always thought there should be replay official up in the booth who just phones in the calls. This is effectively the same thing except more centralized.

  19. “an Australian rugby league”

    Don’t you mean the NRL – the Australian Rugby League, the organising body for Rugby League (13 man rugby) down under??

  20. We have officials that run a 40 yard dash in about 7 seconds trying to catch a guy running 4.3 seconds.
    Can you imagine being the head coach knowing Trippett is going to be your head ref for the game?
    You better make sure you are up more than 8 points at the end of the game or you are putting the game in his incompetent hands.

  21. I really don’t understand the delay. International RUgby has a great system where the ref can call replays on any play he wants. The communications between the ref and replay man are broadcasted. I think all personal fouls should be up for challenge as well

  22. Well that’s good they are talking to them and trying to pick up some ideas, but that game is completely different, and the replay system can’t be just copied from that sport and then be perfect for football. Unless they have a very limited range of types of plays they plan to look at. I just think the entire game and EVERYTHING that happens in a game needs to be MONITORED by dedicated sets of eyes.

  23. As a very long time NHL fan, I can honestly say that they get video call review correct. Penalty calls, not so much, but review they do right and I really have no complaints of that particular system.

    I have almost zero confidence that the NFL will get a replay call right when they have to do one right now. I’m not the only fan with that sentiment.

    The NFL would do very, very well to centralize as the NHL has. They could also do with way more overhead cameras in stadiums to make it happen.

  24. Well, it’s about time. I am surprised the NFL would actually think they are not the best at something, since they think so very highly of themselves – here’s looking at you Roger.
    All kidding aside, the NHL replay system kicks butt, they get it right almost all the time and its fairly quick, there is no need for the ref to go to the “hood” and confirm anything. What about the commercials?

  25. I like the NHL replay and think it is the best replay of any major sport. However, I think there would be longer delays due to the number of plays that are referred to the replay booth. There are a lot more replay reviews in a football game then in a hockey game. Maybe if they had maybe 2 or 3 situation rooms, it wouold reduce the number of delays. I think the NFL could afford to have a few situation rooms, so there would not be long waits for reviews.

  26. Its pathetic that “amateur” athletics(college football) has a much better system, that says a lot.

  27. pftfan says: Dec 13, 2013 9:37 AM

    I think the centralized review center is a great start, but they also need A LOT more cameras set up directly along the goal line and out of bounds markers.
    I’ve been saying this since replay was first made official. Once video became part of the game rules, the networks should have immediately lost the ability to decide how many cameras they bring to a game. Patriots/Broncos on a Sunday night has cameras out the wazoo, but Redskins/Falcons this Sunday will get a minimum of camera coverage. And that lack of angles could conceivably cost one of those teams a game, when NBC or ESPN would have had two extra views of a play that would have confirmed/overturned a replay review.

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