NFL: Replay officials empowered to help referees avoid mistakes

Reuters News
Posted: May 24, 2016 12:46 PM

(Reuters) - The National Football League on Tuesday broadened replay powers to allow the league office and replay officials in New York to help referees avoid mistakes on the field during games.

NFL owners passed an amendment regarding overrules of "game administrative" elements including penalty enforcement, proper down, spot of a foul and status of the game clock.

The changes include measures Commissioner Roger Goodell installed for the playoffs this past season.

"The replay official and designated members of the officiating department at the League office may consult with the on-field officials to provide information on the correct application of playing rules, including appropriate assessment of penalty yardage, proper down, and status of the game clock," the NFL said.

Game clock management and penalty reassessment became a talking point among owners after a few high-profile officiating mistakes in 2015 altered the outcome of several games.

In November, a missed false start penalty helped the Jaguars beat the Ravens.

In October, there was a Monday night game where the clock started 18 seconds early, potentially robbing the Steelers of a second chance to attempt a game-winning play at the goal line. That gaffe forced a one-game suspension of Rob Vernatchi, the side judge responsible for the error.

(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)