Discussions of replay rules fluid, ongoing

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The NFL has introduced several new rules for 2016. None of the changes address the league’s increasingly-controversial replay system. Yet.

The discussions regarding possible improvements to the existing replay rules are fluid and ongoing. With several proposals made by multiple clubs, there’s an increasing sense that something needs to be done. It remains to be seen whether a 24-vote consensus can be reached in support of any one specific proposal.

The best approach would be to supplement the official replay-review process (however it’s configured) with a full-time member of the officiating crew who assists the on-field officials in real time. Not as a second look but as part of the first look, with the booth official in constant contact with the referee (and perhaps the rest of the crew) regarding the question of whether the video images being disseminated to and digested by millions of fans suggest that a certain ruling or call should or shouldn’t be made.

It would be done quickly and expeditiously, with the member of the officiating crew who is in the booth funneling information to the rest of the crew in the same way that an on-field official would confer with the crew. That decision then would be subject to a separate replay process, with the league office involved and the standard of “indisputable visual evidence” applicable.

The game is consumed via television. It’s marketed via television. It became what it now is thanks directly to television. Why shouldn’t the televised images be part of the consideration for officials — not as part of the cumbersome dog-and-pony show that happens after the ruling on the field has been made but as part of the making of the ruling on the field?

16 responses to “Discussions of replay rules fluid, ongoing

  1. “Why shouldn’t the televised images be part of the consideration for officials — not as part of the cumbersome dog-and-pony show that happens after the ruling on the field has been made but as part of the making of the ruling on the field?”

    Trying to get it right the first time, there’s a novel concept.

  2. “The game is consumed via television. It’s marketed via television. It became what it now is thanks directly to television. Why shouldn’t the televised images be part of the consideration for officials — not as part of the cumbersome dog-and-pony show that happens after the ruling on the field has been made but as part of the making of the ruling on the field?”

    Because the “dog and pony show” creates another TV timeout for them to sell advertisements to. End. Of. Story.

  3. This may be off topic, but if there’s one thing that needs to stop, it’s the timeout to “ice the kicker.” It’s just a waste of time and it never works.

  4. I am surprised they haven’t opened up replays to fan voting yet. Must not be any money to be made off of it.

  5. Instead of using replay to fix mistakes, the NFL head office should, in every game, make a call to the officials to deliberately change a correct call to an incorrect call.

    Because that makes exactly as much sense as deliberately avoiding the opportunity to use replay to fix an obviously incorrect call.

  6. The chop block should have been illegal decades ago.
    What has taken the NFL so long is they didn’t care what happened to linemen on offense or defense.

  7. Another replay rule that always confused me was why, if a team challenges a play and the play is overturned, does that team get docked a challenge? It came up in the Super Bowl where Carolina has used up its 2 challenges by the second quarter even though they were proven right with one of them. It is bizarre that only 4 plays max can be challenged per game. If a team challenges a play and are shown to be right, that team should be able to keep the challenge.

  8. “It would be done quickly and expeditiously, with the member of the officiating crew who is in the booth funneling information to the rest of the crew in the same way that an on-field official would confer with the crew.”

    …..Unless you are playing in New England, where radio communication is non-existent.

  9. veddermn8 says:
    Mar 22, 2016 2:28 PM

    Another replay rule that always confused me was why, if a team challenges a play and the play is overturned, does that team get docked a challenge? It came up in the Super Bowl where Carolina has used up its 2 challenges by the second quarter even though they were proven right with one of them. It is bizarre that only 4 plays max can be challenged per game. If a team challenges a play and are shown to be right, that team should be able to keep the challenge.
    ——————————————————————
    IF a team challenges a play, and it’s their first challenge, and the call is overturned, they get another challenge. In other words, the 1st one right means a maximum of three in a game. Fail on the 1st challenge and it’s two max.

  10. I am all for expanding the replay as long as they get rid of the commercial break after the (most often) touchback following a PAT or a Field Goal. Nobody wants to see commercials then watch a touchback and then have another commercial break. It is the most shameless money grab for more commercial advertising in all of sports.

  11. veddermn8 says:
    Mar 22, 2016 2:28 PM

    Another replay rule that always confused me was why, if a team challenges a play and the play is overturned, does that team get docked a challenge? It came up in the Super Bowl where Carolina has used up its 2 challenges by the second quarter even though they were proven right with one of them. It is bizarre that only 4 plays max can be challenged per game. If a team challenges a play and are shown to be right, that team should be able to keep the challenge.
    ——————————————————
    Completely agree with what you said. the only problem is that if there were unlimited challenges based on success then teams would be able to pocket them and could start challenging “questionable” plays late in the game to get free time-outs

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