Rule change expanding role for replay official is expected to pass

Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles
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The NFL won’t be adding a booth umpire to officiating crews this year, but there is expected to be a change to the rules governing the role of the existing replay official.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports that NFL owners are expected to approve the Competition Committee’s proposal to expand that role when they vote on it next week. That proposal was originally made alongside one from the Ravens to add an eighth official watching the game in the booth without adding to the replay official’s responsibilities, but that has now been withdrawn.

The proposal would allow replay officials to “advise the game officials on specific, objective aspects of a play when clear and obvious video evidence is present and/or to address game administration issues” outside of a replay review situation.

Those issues include, but are not limited to, possession, whether a pass is complete, the location of the ball, and whether a player is down by contact. The replay official would not be allowed to call a penalty or pick up a flag thrown by an on-field official.

Baltimore’s proposal would have gone further, but the league isn’t going to be taking that step in 2021.

18 responses to “Rule change expanding role for replay official is expected to pass

  1. Sufficiently vague so that criticism can be defended. Flags get picked up and calls are changed every week. Who’s to say where that decision came from?

    Still, it’s a step in the right direction.

  2. Now, coaches have to trust their own people about whether or not they should throw the challenge flag. Then we all get to play Jeopardy.

    With this rule in place, the game show aspect of the coach’s challenge is at least minimized.

    I like it.

  3. kennylc629 says:
    April 16, 2021 at 3:50 pm
    What could possibly go wrong?


    Nothing really, other than… everything.

  4. keep it up…Games will last longer and longer…with last two minutes lasting twenty

  5. Just wait until gambling licensee’s complain about shiffy calls, and start taking wagers on officiating.

    Plenty of technology exists that would produce objectively conclusive information, to remove officiating discretion. E.g. RFID inside ball to determine 1st down, TD, out-of-bounds position. Add conductive jersey sensor to detect player contact with turf [conductive rubber pellets], to establish forward progress or turnover position. Eliminate chains with lasers from sideline markers, not manned during a play. Shoe sensors detect out of bounds. New tech would drastically speed up the game, and allow clock stoppage with every out-of-bounds or incompletion — yielding more game play per game-clock minute, and real-time minute, as existed from 1976-1989.

  6. Terrible idea. No the incompetent and corrupt folks at league HQ will be able to put their thumb on the scale to decide any game at any time. No thanks.

  7. It’s like they’re officiating with a blindfold on. They keep making slight changes, but they refuse to allow the refs to take off the darn blindfolds. It’s obvious they don’t want the players deciding the outcomes of the games and point spreads, so they just keep playing around. Everyone keeps having ideas about how they can do a better job of refereeing with a blindfold on, but there aren’t any good ways to do it that way. Take off the blindfold. Allow the games to be monitored by video, make the calls in real time, with zero game delays, and get every call correct. I guess that just ain’t happening. I love the NFL. I watch it every Sunday, Monday, and Thursday. I realize there’s a ton of money involved, and it’s their league. I realize I’m free to consume their product, or reject it. I still like the product. It’s not like we’re all a bunch of saints. I’m not. I guess the people running the NFL aren’t, either.

  8. What the NFL needs is full time, highly compensated and scrutinized, officials. Full transparency on calls and why, who said what, how was the call graded? How does a spread or home team advantage effect an officials calls. Are we scrutinizing officials phone calls and personal dealings?

    The NFL wants to ride the multi billion dollar betting ride, there needs to be regulations and accountability. As

  9. I’d prefer a ref can get fired for MAKING a wrong call in a high leverage situation, while they could only be slightly downgraded for missing a call. Then we can watch the dang game and let the players decide it.

  10. Nfl should have a gameshow where fans ref games and the refs spectate in the stands. The amount of hindsight is 20/20 they get when they have to make calls at fullspeed is insane. They get zero credit for the great calls they do make and death threats for the one call they make in a crucial moment that happens in a split second. I’ve seen some insane catches they absolutely nail. The Edelman catch? They called that a catch immediately from dozens of yards away in a swarm of bodies and arms and legs, inches from the ground, no centimeters, no millimeters. Toe-drag swag? They catch that on realtime, sometimes…

    We have the benefit of slow motion and replay and its killing these men and women. Who work part-time and get no love but all criticism.

  11. NFL officiating is not black and white and will never be black and white, this is by design.

    Immediately following the AFCCG I posted that if the Chiefs played the same “sticky” defense against the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl that they used a shutdown Bills offense; Tom Brady would walk up and down the field on them with DPI’s and Holding calls.

    My comment was ratio’d into oblivion.

    The #1 comment from all of Chiefs nation after the SB loss was complaints about all the unfair Holding and Pass Interference calls.

    They played the same defense in back to back games and shutdown the Bills but got flagged into meltdowns against Brady.

    NFL officiating’s most important rule is what two teams are playing.

    That’s why we’ll never get a sky judge to ensure the right call is made 100% of the time. Now the NFL is getting a piece of the betting action; things will only get worse.

  12. The NFL and their Refs have been screwing my Saints over far too long for me to have any faith in a system that’ll work. It’s crazy the calls that get turned over or don’t call. Clear favoritism from NFL and Goodell! Goodell is the problem!

  13. Make a rule change on ties. They shouldn’t happen. Make OT a 5 minute quarter or allow each team a possession. If the game is still tied, put the game into a FG Shoot out – best of 5 kicks from 35, 40, 45, 50, and 55 yards away.

  14. Most of the blatant bad decisions have been penalty flags. Roughing the passer. Grab the face mask. Pass interference. Holding.
    Fix that and rest I stuff will take care of itself

  15. It really matters little how the NFL rules are altered when the interpretation instructions from league to officials differs every week…AS IS THE CASE! If it is not PI in week six, if it is not PI during the Wild Card week, it should not suddenly be PI in the Super Bowl.

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