NFL Rule Changes: Sky-Judge
Did you know that the NFL did not invent the Sky Cam? It was actually invented by the early 2000’s XFL and later adopted. History tends to repeat itself; as the 2020 XFL added a feature that provided both transparency and clarification for the fans. The Sky Judge is a live feed into the head referee’s booth, where they narrate the playback they are watching and give a rationale regarding the call on field relayed down to the head umpire.
After last year’s debacle with reviewable passing interference, the NFL is looking for new ways to restore trust with fans. Now, the NFL is planning to introduce the Sky Judge in pre-season and test its feasibility moving forward.
The Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers have both proposed the addition of a booth umpire, known as a sky judge, as an eighth game official. Those two teams have also proposed the addition of a senior technology advisor to the referee to assist the officiating crew.
NFL Rule Changes: Onside Kick to 4th and 15
Another dramatic rule change would be an alternative to the onside kick. With the rule changes in 2018, which drastically lower the success rate of onside kicks, the NFL has been looking for ways that add excitement back to a one-score game.
The Eagles have proposed a rule that would give teams an alternative option to the onside kick. Instead of trying to recover an onside kick, teams would have the option of attempting to convert a fourth-and-15 play from their own 25-yard line. If they get the 15 yards, they get a first down and keep possession of the ball. If they don’t get the 15 yards, the other team would take over possession from wherever the play ended. A team would only be allowed two of these plays per game.