NFL Expands Replay Assist System And Enhancing Officiating Accuracy

The NFL has announced an expansion of its replay assist system, allowing referees to utilize it for plays involving intentional grounding, roughing the passer, and late hits out of bounds, However, this assistance will only apply to plays where a penalty flag has been thrown for these infractions.

In cases where a player is hit out of bounds but no flag is thrown, replay assist cannot intervene to retroactively issue a penalty.

NFL Expands Replay Assist System And Enhancing Officiating Accuracy (Credits: Getty Images)

Jones’ reporting outlines the specific criteria for utilizing replay assist in these situations: For intentional grounding, officials will review whether the quarterback was in the pocket and under duress. In instances of roughing, the focus will be on determining if there is clear and obvious evidence that the defender did not make contact to the head or neck area.

Regarding late hits out of bounds, the review will ascertain if the runner was clearly hit while still in bounds.

NFL Expands Replay Assist System And Enhancing Officiating Accuracy (Credits: Getty Images)

While these changes are likely to be well-received by teams and fans, the inability of replay to reverse a no-call into a penalty may lead to continued frustration over missed calls. This limitation could prompt questions about why the replay assist system was not expanded to address this issue.

With the expanded use of replay, officials may opt to err on the side of caution by calling these penalties more frequently, confident that the assist system will correct any erroneous calls. However, there is a risk that if calls are seldom overturned, similar to the pass interference review system introduced in previous seasons, the effectiveness of the replay assist system may come under scrutiny, potentially leading to its removal in the future.