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WATCH: USFL debuts digital first down technology, NFL would be wise to adopt similar methods

Andrew Buller-Russ

The official start to the USFL season doesn’t kick off until next Saturday, April 16, but a Friday night exhibition match gave the league a chance to show off some of their new technology to the public.

One of the more notable differences between the USFL to the NFL is the former’s digital first down technology that allows referees to have a clear understanding of just how far the football is from the first down line.

What a refreshing take. As you can see from the video, the USFL has technology that allows everyone to be able to see the distance needed to reach the first down marker.

It could even help provide more analytical data down the line once there are enough results to study. Imagine being able to understand your chances of converting a 4th-down attempt when the ball is mere inches away, instead of being a foot away. Teams could someday have access to information that shows how often teams fail and how often they convert in such situations, and plenty more.

This could be a game-changer for the USFL and across the entire football landscape. This is exactly why we need more leagues aside from the NFL to come up with bright ideas and to give more players a chance to prove their talent. This is simply the latest example of what the USFL can bring to the table.

Related: USFL games today: 2022 schedule, how to watch, odds, and more

Could the NFL implement USFL first-down technology?

Like many of the rules that differ from the NFL, if the changes perform well in the USFL, we could someday see Roger Goodell look to implement similar technology in the big leagues. In fact, if the USFL has this type of advanced technology already, it’s a mystery why the NFL doesn’t as well. We know they pull in more money than any other sports league and have plenty of investors interested in growing the game.

Expect the NFL to follow suit sometime in the next few years. It may not replicate the USFL exactly, but the end result should be just the same.

Related: USFL FAQ: From start date to ownership