NFL 'Sky Judge' Proposal Would Put Official in Replay Booth


The NFL is reportedly considering a proposal that could radically change officiating in professional sports.

League owners will vote on a plan to install a game official, along with a "technology adviser," in a replay booth to assist officials on the field in making calls.

The policy was scheduled to be voted on May 28, according to Judy Battista of

The league's competition committee recently circulated a memo stating support for further research into the addition of a sky judge, Battista reported.

The committee recommended the sky judge first be tried out as a preseason experiment, and the plan is unlikely to be voted on as a permanent change for now, according to Kevin Seifert of ESPN.

Pro sports leagues have long struggled with how to use replay in a way that is both accurate and efficient. The NFL's current challenge system has been panned for taking too long, and for perverting the ultimate objective of getting the call right into a "game within a game" that often comes down to rationing challenges for the most critical moments.

Many casual fans have been calling for that discretion to be taken away from NFL coaches -- and put into the hands of a sky judge or something similar -- since basically the advent of replay itself.

In addition to the sky judge, the NFL was also reportedly considering modifying its onside kick rules.

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