AAF will use a real-time replay official


As talk continues that the NFL should add another official who is watching the game on a monitor in the stadium and can communicate with the on-field officials in real time, a new football league will do just that.

The Alliance of American Football, which will play its first games on Saturday, will have an official referred to as the “SkyJudge” who can instantly correct “obvious and egregious” officiating errors. Mike Pereira, the former NFL head of officiating who has consulted with the AAF, indicated that the SkyJudge’s primary responsibilities will be player safety penalties and pass interference.

“If you get a helmet-to-helmet spear and it’s not called on the field, it can be picked up by the ninth official,” Pereira told the Associated Press. “He has the ability to do it in real time. It doesn’t go to replay. . . . He can call down to the field and say, ‘Hey, spearing on No. 33 of Birmingham, 15-yard penalty, let’s go.’ It’s correcting errors on the field by another member of the officiating crew without having to go to replay to do it and having a three-minute stoppage to do it.”

The AAF has positioned itself as a developmental league for the NFL, rather than a rival to the NFL. Perhaps just as players are developed in the AAF, replay officials can be developed in the AAF and then move on to the NFL as well.

27 responses to “AAF will use a real-time replay official

  1. They started doing this in the Rugby World Cup, EIGHTEEN YEARS AGO. And though it had some big issues early on, it developed to the point where by the 2015 World Cup most saw it as a great thing. The extra person, a TMO (television match official), is allowed to buzz the ref if while watching the game they see a really bad foul that went unnoticed. Or if they see anything just in the phase of play that lead up to a score that would negate the score, they can buzz the ref if the ref hasn’t already asked them to review/confirm a scoring play. The ref still has the final decision after seeing the footage. If they can do this in a more flowing game like rugby, there really isn’t any reason why they can’t do it in football as with all its stops anyway there is time.

  2. Just curious how the players on the field will know when a virtual penalty is called by the Skyjudge. Will there a flag shown on the scoreboard or will a onfield official throw the flag well after the play. It will make some interesting reactions when teams are celebrating a big run or score and they look up to see the scoreboard flashing penalty.

  3. If I remember right the USFL had coaches challenges and after the league folded the NFL adopted that. Same thing will happen this time around, most likely.

  4. So this league is going to be the guinea pig for all these rule changes now to see how they’re liked/disliked and played out. Going to be a bit hard to judge as this won’t be as highly televised as the NFL.

  5. I think this is cool to have an alternative source to watch football. Will the games be on TV? I just hate to get invested in a team and players just to have them go to the NFL and become egomaniacs and idiots.

  6. Exactly. If the oversight is truly “obvious and egregious”, it won’t take more than a few seconds to correct.

  7. NFL is joke sauce. The fact a new league can do it and this has been a rampant problem in the past for the NFL speaks volumes. Poor leadership

  8. The games will be televised on cbs, cbs sports, Bleacher report live and the nfl network.

  9. At least their willing to make a change, unlike everyone else saying:
    “That’s not gonna work”
    “That’s not gonna work”
    “That’s not gonna work”
    We gotta start somewhere right?

  10. thetooloftools says:
    February 7, 2019 at 9:00 am
    Does anybody know if these games are going to be on tv?

    Week 1 Schedule

    2/9 Atlanta @ Orlando (8pm, CBS)
    2/9 San Diego @ San Antonio (8pm, CBS)

    2/10 Memphis @ Birmingham (4pm, CBS Sports Network)
    2/10 St. Lake @ Arizon (8pm, NFL Network)

    All Times Eastern

  11. It’s moronic to compare this to the Rubgy World Cup, NHL or soccer. Those games are free-flowing and penalties hardly ever occur away from the ball or puck. But in the NFL, any of the 22 guys can commit a penalty at any time, even the guys running 40 yards away from the football.

    And please explain where you’re drawing the line at pass interference. Hand fighting illegal? How about “incidental” bumping or a slight pushoff by a WR just to give him the extra couple of inches so that the CB can’t tip the ball?

    All this knee-jerk reaction to one bad call, but you guys need to think of the consequences first.

  12. Fans already whine about the number of penalties. This will just add to the total.

    And players will hate this more. ESPN asked a few Pro Bowlers and they were almost unanimously against it, mostly because it seriously affects the pace of game. A timeout is only 30 secs, but a video review takes on average 3 minutes. The offense wants to keep momentum going and not stand around waiting. It also gives a defense too much of a breather to rest and re-energize.

  13. I hope this change is made and the NFL stops fining players who were not charged with a rules violation in the game.

  14. The AAFL is a feeder league for the NFL. It has way too many NFL connections. AAFL has teams in cities that in the future COULD possible have a NFL team…they want to see the turn out. Memphis…Birmingham…San Antonio…San Diego. I hope the league makes it.

  15. Carroll Prescott says: “I hope this change is made and the NFL stops fining players who were not charged with a rules violation in the game.”

    First, why do you care if a player gets fined post-game? Does it change the score? Are you forced to pay it for him?

    Second ,the NFL gives out fines are only for player safety issues like late hits or helmet-to-helmet. They’re not going back and issuing a normal penalty like offsides or holding.

    Players (except the guy paying) WANT the fines. No one wants to get hurt over a cheap shot and lose their entire, short career.

  16. Thank you AAF for showing the NFL what everyone watching with an ounce of knowledge knows that this can be done. Sure it will evolve over time and get ironed out but the NFL has had it’s head up it’s you know what for so long in replay and poking along and still has not got it right. Showing the initiative for once, opposite the NFL.

  17. They start Saturday? That’s news to me! Great marketing job AAF, if you even have a marketing department at that fraud of an organization.

  18. Common sense, NFL should have applied this when they went to replay.
    The networks show the play from 6 angles, and the guy in the booth can call it quickly. I mean – what if he’d been in the booth for the Saints – Rams game. He would have called immediately, a flag, a first down, and it could happen MUCH quicker than a review.
    Just do it, NFL. Just do it.

  19. You can have all of the replay officials you want, it will still take them a long time to make the call, and they will probably make the wrong call.

  20. I’m kind of excited to check these games out this weekend. Those last two weeks of the playoffs left a sour taste in my mouth. It’s cool another league is starting up now. Hopefully it’s not awful.

  21. gauchosporlife says:
    February 7, 2019 at 8:49 am
    Patriots hate the idea. No more phantom roughing the passer penalties.

    Most Pats fan agree that roughing call was a bad call. However, most of them also know that if it’s not called and they go 3rd and 7, they most likely get the 1st down, so really what’s the difference?

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