NFL refs will talk to officiating office during replay reviews


The NFL has passed a new rule that it hopes will make instant replay more effective.

League owners voted today to allow the referee to consult with members of the NFL officiating department during replay reviews. The referee will be able to speak with head of officiating Dean Blandino at the command center in New York, who will help in reviewing a play.

Although the referee technically still has final say, for all intents and purposes this means it will be Blandino making the call: If you’re tasked with making a split-second decision, and you’re on the phone with your boss who tells you which way to go, are you really going to go against him?

And it should mean a better replay system going forward. This rule doesn’t guarantee the calls will always be right, but it is a step toward making replay reviews more accurate.

41 responses to “NFL refs will talk to officiating office during replay reviews

  1. NHL has the decisions made by the home office, the ref just sits on the line waiting for the decision. The NHL model is the model NFL should go to, not this hybrid model.

  2. The NFL monitors live games closely from New York, so this shouldn’t add to the time required for a review process.

    The only question I have is what happens when two games go to review at the same time. Will somebody with Blandino’s level of authority be able to handle the second review?

  3. I like this – what would make it GREAT though is if they aired the audio of the ref discussion on the broadcast.

  4. Smart move. We can’t have anyone blowing the point spread on a careless call. I’d suggest cutting out the middle man and having the call go straight to the Caesar’s Palace casino floor. Ask Jerome Boger, he’s got their number.

  5. Why pay refs 6 figure salary
    When they can call penalty from the tv
    Just have them phone it in from home

  6. The NFL has gotten so big, it can’t even move anymore.

    They keep working on a solution, over and over again, that’s enough now.

  7. well this should be fun. just wait until there’s two games going at the same time and both have two different replays at the same time its going to still delay games when both refs are on the lone with blandino

  8. Looks like Blandino and his mantourage are gonna be busy making stuffed shells and taking phone calls. “HEY VITO, WAS IT A CATCH? “

  9. Why are we paying refs? Shouldnt they get their heads out of there a$$es and make the right call? Or maybe they dont know the rules, in which case, this decision is more telling.

  10. Good idea as long as it doesn’t add even more time to the review. What happens during Sunday afternoon and late games though if there’s coincidentally there are several reviews from different games simultaneously? Do the refs have to hold until Blandino finishes the previous call?

    I’m for it as long as it helps speed it up and get the calls right.

  11. No, thils will just add time to the review. Why can’t they just do it the NHL way and let a central person make all the rulings so they get some consistency? It’s working great in the NHL.

  12. Meh….they’ll still manage to screw this up! Like it said in the article ( This rule doesn’t guarantee the calls will always be right, but it is a step toward making replay reviews more accurate) Ha Ha Ha!

  13. The biggest problems with the refs are that 1) there are too many rules to keep up with 2) The league “emphasizes” certain areas, but don’t always convey that to the public and 3) are only human.

    If we didn’t have something to gripe about it would be boring. It’s always fun to watch until it’s your team. That being said they should go to the NHL way. nuff said.

  14. I get that they want to avoid getting the call wrong during a replay review… but how about just making sure every official knows every rule? If that’s not possible, your rulebook is awful. The man on the field should be able to know what call to make when he has access to slow-motion high-definition replays from every available angle.

  15. “This rule doesn’t guarantee the calls will always be right, but it is a step toward making replay reviews more accurate.”

    I agree it’s a step, but not quite all the way where we need to go. Also, maybe not more accurate, but at least more consistent. I think a ref sitting on Park Ave, seeing multiple views of ten seconds in a game he has not been immersed in will have a clearer perspective. God, I hope so… though it sounds like the full-NHL model might be better.

    Slightly off topic, but how are Triplette and Coleman still employed by the NFL? One of them even got a playoff game last year? Obscene. Of all the things in the league that should be reviewed, THAT should take top priority.

  16. Blandino will conference in Tim Donaghy to see which way Vegas needs the call to go. Nice and tidy. Move along now.

  17. Just put it all in the hands of the central office! They can be working on the call while the ref is still walking to the booth. In most cases they should have a decision by the time the ref dons the headset.
    As stated, works in the NHL, and now also MLB. Why has it taken so long for NFL to get this right?

  18. the call will be made to depend on how it affects the atva ratings …gotta protect the product.
    this reminds me of the NBA lottery drawing being held in secret. ah well we know the score

  19. So every Sunday there will be approximately 32 contestants battling out the games in 16 different districts that are directed and manipulated by the Capital. Got it….

    May the odds be ever in your favor.

  20. In theory, it sounds good.
    But are we all ready for 4 hour games???
    I’m not…but I don’t like squeeze bottle ketchup.
    To each his/her own.

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