Proposed technology advisor would assist on facemask, unnecessary roughness calls

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A couple of proposed rules changes to the way the game is officiated were announced on Tuesday, including the creation of a senior technology advisor to the referee that would be located in the replay booth.

The addition to the crew, which was proposed by the Ravens and Chargers, would have access to all broadcast angles of plays and the ability to communicate with game officials. Per the NFL’s release of the proposed change, they would be charged with advising the seven on-field officials with “any relevant information” in seven areas.

Those areas are game administration; possession; touching of a loose ball, boundary, goal line or end line; the spot of the ball; whether a player was down by contact when not ruled down on the field; penalties for facemask and unnecessary roughness against a defenseless player; and number of player on the field at the snap. They would also be able to provide “any other information requested by the referee.

Another proposal from the same two teams was to add a “booth umpire” as the eighth member of an officiating crew. The areas they would cover are not detailed as closely, but has the same intended effect of creating an advisor positioned above the field who is able to communicate quickly about what they see on video.

Pace of play is cited alongside competitive equity and player health and safety as the reasons for each proposed change.