From end zone to end zone, an NFL field is exactly 3,600 inches, and it’s easy enough for referees to spot a ball precisely when action stays within the bounds of play. But when players take the pigskin out of bounds, refs must watch where the 11-inch-long ball crossed the sideline and then approximate that spot 70 feet, 9 inches away, back near the middle of the field.
NFL brass thinks it can do better.
The league is reportedly in discussions with Cairos Technologies, a German manufacturer that specializes in micro-tracking systems, about how chips could be implanted in official NFL game balls. It’s an intriguing idea that would surely cut down on some measure of human error, but for football traditionalists it’ll be another bit of ammo for the argument that expanded tech is fouling up the sport’s integrity.
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