The XFL showed just how viable and important having a sky judge can be, and now the NFL Competition Committee is interested in the idea as well. One year after the committee rejected a sky judge proposal, it is showing support for the notion of having that extra set of eyes to help correct officiating mistakes in the NFL.
John Kryk of the Toronto Sun reported Wednesday that the Competition Committee is now in support of having a sky judge, which could correct or clarify penalties in real time during games.
“The Competition Committee had an abbreviated conference call — obviously, with what’s going on they can’t meet in person as they normally would — but they had a call last week some time,” former NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino said, per Kryk, “and they went through all the rules proposals. And there is support for this.”
One of the great things about what we saw from the XFL’s implementation of a sky judge is that it just makes sense to have the ability to use the technology available to ensure that officials on the ground don’t get put into a position where the fast pace of the game leads to catastrophic mistakes.
Blandino pointed to that as well, noting, “As technology continues to improve, and as we can see things as we’re watching on TV that officials cannot see in real time, it’s incumbent upon a league to try to incorporate that into the official decision-making.”
At this point, there is absolutely no reason not to go down this road.
The NFL’s owners will get a chance to vote on this idea, and others, at some point in the future. The league already postponed the spring meetings that were to take place in Florida this week and rescheduled for mid-May. But at this point, it would not be surprised if that meeting was also canceled or moved to the virtual realm due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in America.