The Baltimore Ravens have reportedly submitted a proposal for a major change to the current NFL officiating lineup.
According to NFL insider Albert Breer, the proposal includes a plea to add an eighth booth official or “SkyJudge.” Backed by the coaches subcommittee, the idea was presented to the competition committee on Thursday.
The official summary of the proposal reads:
“An eighth official on the crew, the proposed Booth Umpire can offer input from the booth throughout the game, with access to all broadcast angles via the NFL’s Hawkeye technology. Aided by replay and closeup shots, he can provide info to on-field officials to help correct any clear and obvious errors of consequence, provided he can do so without disrupting the normal timing of game administration.”
The subcommittee hopes this extra set of eyes can help improve competitive equity, integrity of the game, pace of play and player safety.
We did a story last May on it. The coaches subcommittee—a.k.a. the Madden Committee—has been working on this for 3 years. Made progress for preseason test run last year, then preseason got canceled.
Here's the piece from May on how they got there. ⬇️⬇️⬇️ https://t.co/KvJj7hPeWx
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 5, 2021
This proposal has reportedly been in the works for over three years now. Test runs of the new system were supposed to take place during last year’s preseason before it was canceled due to COVID-19.
As long as the added layer of officiating doesn’t hinder pace of play, it seems like a fairly harmless and beneficial idea. Access to views from all over the field could only help the officials do their jobs. That being said, it would produce a significant change in the way games are called.
The added officiating wasn’t the only significant change proposed by the Ravens. The franchise also developed a ground-breaking new “spot and chose” overtime proposal.
If either of these concepts are adopted by the league, we could be seeing some major shifts in the NFL landscape over the next few years.