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The NFL is set for a MAJOR technology change next season … but it needs to go through preseason testing before it gets the go-ahead


The NFL plans to test optical tracking technology for line-to-gain decisions this preseason.

According to Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports, the league is preparing to test the advanced method in the preseason with a chance to implement it full-time in the regular season.

If the test run went well, it could mean the demotion of the chain gang. But Jones added that chain executives will remain on the field as a backup if the technology struggles.

Jones reported that the NFL’s competition committee quietly approved optical tracking in March. However, as mentioned, full implementation will depend on how well or how much the test run goes.

Despite its dominance in the sports market, the NFL is significantly outdated compared to other leagues when it comes to utilizing technological advancements.

The NFL will be testing optical tracking technology this preseason in hopes of full implementation

Fans fear that full implementation of the rule could mean the demotion of the chain gang

Fans fear that full implementation of the rule could mean the demotion of the chain gang

The NFL reportedly plans to keep string officials on the field as a backup for the technology

The NFL reportedly plans to keep string officials on the field as a backup for the technology

Bad line-to-gain decisions have long been responsible for changing games in NFL history. So optical tracking could turn out to be a breakthrough if all goes according to plan.

While optical tracking technology is new to the NFL, several sports leagues have adopted it in earlier years. Sports such as soccer and tennis were among the first to take advantage of the innovation.

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In 2012, goal-line technology was first implemented in football at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan. In 2014, GLT became widely used in domestic and international competitions around the world after the Premier League introduced it in the 2013–14 season.

Two years later, the FIFA Council approved the use of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR). A VAR is essentially another official who can watch the game from multiple camera angles, providing an extra set of eyes for the referee on the pitch.

In March 2006, ATP introduced the Hawk-eye system. This technology, developed by Dr. Paul Hawkins, revolutionized tennis by allowing officials to automatically detect where the ball landed on the court during matches.



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