NFL Competition Committee calls officiating consistency a top priority

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Although NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell claimed before the Super Bowl that the league’s officiating has never been better, the NFL recognizes the need to make officiating more consistent.

NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent said that when the league’s Competition Committee met, the highest priority was discussing how to ensure that officiating is consistent league-wide.

“Officiating was at the top,” of the Competition Committee’s agenda, Vincent said. “Crew consistency was the theme.”

Vincent said the league wants all 17 officiating crews to call the game the same way, and that the league wants to make sure the rule book is internally consistent so that the game is called consistently.

Goodell’s claim about the league’s officiating being better than ever was met with plenty of derision from NFL fans, but the Competition Committee’s focus on consistency suggests that the league does realize there are aspects of officiating that could be better.

65 responses to “NFL Competition Committee calls officiating consistency a top priority

  1. All 17 crews will be trained on how to be consistently incompetent.

    That’s really the only way they’re going to be consistently anything, given the quality of the individuals making up the crews and Troy and Roger insisting “There’s nothing to see here, folks!”

    When was the last time casual fans knew the names of the Commissioner and the EVP of Football Operations on par with recognizing their own kids? That’s not something to be proud of, guys.

  2. Well instead of 17 crews they should have 20 plus and instead of mixing and matching crews going into the playoffs it should be the top crews. That said officiating should run differently than nfl teams. The 1st 8 or 10 weeks should be the data on the officials and which crews were the best. Then you cut down on crews. The top 10 or 12 crews continue to work together whereas 7 to 5 new crews are put together of the individuals with the highest internal marks of the other 8 plus crews. Again this now gives you 8 or so weeks to evaluate all crews and determine which crews showed the best marks and the crews can build off consistency.

  3. Unless the NFL assigns some sort of AI program to officiate the games you will never have consistency, humans are imperfect and flawed.

  4. NFL needs what the XFL has been doing but I think we all know that will probably not happen.

  5. Let’s see what they do nit what they say. They say player safety is a top priority but allow the rugby mail play – no way someone doesn’t get torked somehow on one of those as more teams adopt it. They say fans are what it’s all about but will move a Sunday game to Thursday, screwing 60,000 people and travelers calendars up to accommodate people at home? If that trend continues officiating will actually get worse next year and they’ll reduce crew size because ‘crew size efficiency helps improve call accuracy’ or some similar corporate speak. Can’t make it up.

  6. Until the officials are paid, trained and full-time professionals, consistency will not be a priority. The NFL is a multibillion dollar company that can afford to hire, train and pay officials but won’t. The current model may have worked in the old days, but it’s broken now.

  7. If you want to make more consistent officiating, start removing rules and taking out those “judgement calls”. The NFL rule book is ridiculously large for a game that started out as something so simple. When you look at rules for holding, pass interference, incompletions (what the heck is a “football move” anyhow), and the in the grasp rule, it is just way too subjective. I would think this would be an issue in a game where millions are bet on the outcome.

  8. Everyone can agree the officiating was awful last year. Almost an unwatchable product at times. But I don’t have high hopes they get it together anytime soon. Especially if the league keeps getting the results they desire…

  9. After they improve the consstency, they can then focus on being consistently right.

  10. In the last 2 years officiating directly decided a Super Bowl and an AFC championship game. Only thing consistent is how bad it’s been.

  11. “NFL Competition Committee calls officiating consistency a top priority” – oh you mean that now legalized gambling is everywhere? where were you 15 years ago when the fix was in?

  12. I think Goodell just misspoke. He meant the worst it’s ever been. We all knew what he meant.

  13. Consistency is the biggest problem in all sports. Strike zone in baseball and holding in the NFL is how umps and officials ruin the game.

    Not saying it’s rigged, just terribly inconsistent.

    Like the SB. How many similar holding calls did they let go all game only to throw the flag at the most important moment of the game.

  14. Make the ref’s full time employees. Make pass interference and roughing the passer reviewable..

  15. Let’s stop pretending these are official outcomes in important games. The only thing official is the officials are getting told who needs to advance by the NFL and they make even evidently disasterous calls to ensure that. If that wasnt evident the last 3 games of the year then I don’t know what to tell you.

  16. So many comments about “consistency”. Do you really think the heads of billion dollar sports companies have bad officials? Most of these refs are lawyers. Put two and two together. If you haven’t figured out you’re watching WWE yet, then you never will.

  17. This is where I picture the 3 monkeys…see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

  18. The NFL has become like the NBA where stars have different rules applied and not all rules are enforced all the time consistently. The result is the players and coaches teach and break the rules daring the refs to call the infractions. Enforce the rules even if the first few games are flag feats…the players and coaches will adjust when they see that cheating on the rules doesn’t pay…but like taxes Americans like to cheat until caught.

  19. Until and unless the NFL starts paying officials at a rate similar to players, NFL officiating will never be consistent, much less good. Officials are by far the weakest link when it comes to gambling bribery.

  20. When RG said that officiating was better than ever, perhaps he meant that the huge, steaming pile of …manure…that is NFL officiating doesn’t stink any worse than usual. Every person who watches NFL games knows that the officiating is often prejudiced at its worst and incompetent at best. Just like the rest of life, the first step to getting better is to admit that you have a problem. NFL leadership’s denial only insures continued problems.

  21. KC Chiefs: But we like the present system where ticky tack penalties get ignored all game long then called on our opponents when we really need them!

  22. Nothing inspires me more than knowing Troy Vincent (or Goodell, or Jeff Miller, or Dawn Aponte, et al.) are “on the case”.

    This bunch makes the Three Stooges look like Oxford profs.

    I wouldn’t trust even one of the lot to wash my car.

    Incompetence at an almost unimaginable level. Buffoonery writ large. Ijits, one & all….

  23. Jerome Boger retiring should improve the quality of officiating without any other measures.

  24. Here we go again. Humans are creatures of habit, and we go through this ritual every year. We act like the NFL is trying to get all the calls “right”, and we are here to offer suggestions. The fact is, NFL officiating is better than it’s ever been. It’s humanly impossible to get all the calls right without video assistance, and the NFL chooses not to use it. Instead of this ritual of offering advice to deaf ears, it would be a better conversation to ask why. Why does the NFL want to hold on to control of the scoreboard? Is it gambling? Is it manipulating games to keep the scores close and hold the TV audience? Is it keeping as many teams as possible alive with playoff hopes, so year end games are relevant? It’s in the league’s best interest to do all of the above, and it is a business. But like I said, these are the best refs in the world, and they’re doing an excellent job. The available technology that would allow them to get every call right has been purposely kept out. Part of the problem is we have a bit of that technology available to us through our TV’s, and we see everything crystal clear from our couch. The decision to keep the refs in the blind has helped the league set new revenue records just about every year. It’s March 25th and we’re talking about the NFL. Not baseball. Not basketball. We’re talking about the officiating again, as we do every year. See what I mean? And we’re offering them advice? Lol. How brilliant are we? How brilliant are they? They have all the money, so I think they’re the ones who are brilliant, yet we have suggestions to offer. Doesn’t that make you laugh? No? OMG!

  25. Dont knock it until you have tried it. How about get players to stop cheating. These are good officials who will miss calls. Far from an issue. The bigger issue is the excessive number of rules they are asked to govern.

  26. making them full time employees may have a marginal benefit but the real problem is subjective rules and rules where a call/no cal has far too large an impact on the outcome. expected points difference from officiating decisions is larger than in any other sport.

  27. If the XFL does anything while they are in business is at the very least, show what consistent and capable officiating can do. The NFL loves the fact that the officiating is subjective as it allows the refs to play with point spreads and even outcomes of games.

  28. This is really easy to understand: NFL wants the human error factor to remain so they can more easily steer plays and game outcomes to fit their needs and betting lines.

  29. This is one of the greatest lies in the world right now.

    Why wouldn’t they have already ordered the games to be called the same betore?

    There’s a reason why it’s like this. It’s called manipulating games. Blatantly obvious.

  30. There’s a reason why it’s like this. It’s called manipulating games. Blatantly obvious.

    It’s too bad being paranoid doesn’t pay well otherwise you would be rich…very rich. Refs are great when you win but are in a conspiracy when you lose….kids in a sand box thinking.

  31. The more technology with which officiating evolves, the better. Imagine a chip in the tip on each end of the ball tracked by a sensor running the length of the sideline. Perfect placement, every time.

  32. Here’s an idea. Require the full details of a free agent contract to be announced at the same time the signing is announced (full transparency).

  33. Require the waiver order and all waiver claims (successful and not) to be posted on the NFL website and announced in real time.

  34. As with umpires calling balls and strikes, the most important thing is for the refs to make CONSISTENT calls. If holding in th secondary isn’t called in the first half, don’t call it in the second half.

    The biggest problem is tha thtere are too many judgement calls because of the rules. Holding isn’t holding until it crosses some threshold…and every ref has a different threshold.

    I really with that the NFL would pass a rule that basically said that a defense cannot willingly touch other player with their hands…and if they do, call it EVERY time. That would work with skill players, but may be impossible to do with linemen who literally hold on every play.

  35. I think they are missing the boat on this one. Fans want call consistency and really don’t care if the officiating crew is intact. You call the fouls or you don’t, simple as that. Roughing the passer and pass interference have become subjective calls the last few years.

  36. Hire these guys FULL TIME. No more of this part time refs who work 2 days a week. Pay these guys more and make them work year round. Come to an agreement with the XFL/USFL and have these guys work those games. Each official should rotate positions on the field so they see games from all angles.

  37. Of course Goodell said it’s never been better. He’s a salesmen, sometimes the snake oil variety. His only achievement has been securing those TV deals. The list of his errors is longer… but the owners only care about the money (no concern for sustainability, longevity, or integrity).

  38. It’s time to have full time referees, and start using the technology that is available in today’s world.

  39. Officiating… we got to take this stuff seriously, as seriously as you are – because you have been forced to have to take it seriously.

  40. Making them accountable with fines and suspensions and also giving incentives could slow down the bribes and favortism a little.

  41. pg33 says:
    March 25, 2023 at 4:06 pm
    Of course Goodell said it’s never been better. He’s a salesmen, sometimes the snake oil variety. His only achievement has been securing those TV deals. The list of his errors is longer… but the owners only care about the money (no concern for sustainability, longevity, or integrity).

    20Rate This


    Exactly. The product has actually been terrible with the season being a disgrace with outright cheating after looking at a replay,
    and then SBs ending with controversial calls that supersede the event itself.

    It will eventually catch up to them.

  42. As long as the NFL is sleeping with the gambling industry, the official will continue to be inconsistent, because the fix is always in for the NFL to benefit.

  43. mikefloreo says:
    March 25, 2023 at 9:01 am

    So many comments about “consistency”. Do you really think the heads of billion dollar sports companies have bad officials? Most of these refs are lawyers.


    How does being lawyer make one good football ref? What if one isn’t a very good lawyer?

  44. The Raiders had very few penalties in the preseason and then when the season started what a surprise, the flags came out flying again. That’s all they are consistent at, prejudice towards some teams and going easy on others. Goodell is a joke and the NFL is now like professional wrestling.

  45. Make no mistake, the NFL is now under the firm thumb of the gambling betting business. The NFL wanted it, they got it, and they now are making money hand over first because of it. Rigged. Next seasons playoff teams have already been seeded.

  46. Will never be fixed until they start having full-time officials and hold them accountable for their decisions. They have effectively ended two Super bowls in a row with highly controversial calls. With the advancements and technology we should not allow for inconsistent officiating.

  47. Its not the missed holding call, its the ridiculous penalties they call, like bogus “roughing the Passer” that cause huge swings in games.
    The refs are bad and seriously harm the integrity of the game.

  48. Pause application of DEI in screening and recruiting officials. The truth is an extremely bitter pill to swallow.

  49. The NFL has proven that even destroying the games’ integrity has no bearing on profits.

  50. All I can say is remember Packers vs Seahawks with replacement refs and how the fans screamed for the regular refs. In general, be careful what you wish for.
    As for the XFL officiating, it is Dean Blandino running that which explains why it has worked. He was the only competent head of officiating in my 50+ years watching. And he was completely transparent, not making up BS for mistakes.

  51. There are many “full-time” employees who are incompetent in any/all lines of work. Just like the players, it’s all about the talent and quality.
    Until they make a conscious effort to hire the best, the status quo will continue and the longer that goes on the more “suspect” the intentions of the league become. Is there 1 or 32 teams in Las Vegas? Hmmmm

  52. The biggest problem is their system of replays. Now officials rely too much on them, and they still get the calls wrong. How many times do we hear there must be, “Clear and conclusive evidence to overturn a call,” and they overturn the call anyway. I do also believe the officials make calls to keep games close, and they also favor some teams (e.g., Patriots and Chiefs) while overpenalizing some others (Cowboys and Raiders). If a team has a reputation for committing penalties, officials flag them much more than teams that don’t.

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