The NFL is putting data-tracking chips inside footballs

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,454   +171
Staff member

As any football fan will tell you, many games have been decided by a field goal or even an extra point following a touchdown. As if such scenarios weren’t stressful enough, the NFL is now contemplating whether or not field goals and extra point kick should be less of a sure thing by narrowing the goal posts.

In an exclusive interview with the Toronto Sun, NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating, Dean Blandino, said that as success rates have continued to climb over the years, the league is continuing to look at the possibility of narrowing the uprights.

Over the past three seasons, placekicker accuracy has climbed to an impressive 85 percent.

During the upcoming pre-season, the NFL will be inserting tiny computer chips inside each kicked ball that’ll allow them to determine precisely how far inside the posts all successful field goals have been kicked. If successful, the NFL might extend the testing to Thursday night regular season games.

Blandino said that after the season, they’ll analyze the data and determine if / what changes will be made to make kicks more difficult. Adjustments could come as early as the 2017 season, he said.

I’ve long wondered why the league hasn’t inserted tiny silicon into its game balls albeit for a different reason. In my opinion, placing some sort of sensor inside or along the perimeter of a ball would make it much easier to determine if the ball crossed the goal line during a touchdown attempt or the line to gain for a first down.

Implementing such a system is no doubt easier than it sounds but even still, in 2016, we probably have the technology to pull it off securely.

Image courtesy Phonlamai Photo, Shutterstock

Permalink to story.



Posts: 414   +265
Implementing such a system is no doubt easier than it sounds

Uhh.... how?

I'm assuming that was a typo. It didn't fit the context even a little bit. On another note, I wish they would just let these athletes play the damn game. There's too much screwing around with the system as it is. I'm sure this whole thing was thought up by the Dictator known as Roger Goodell. That dude needs to lose his job. I'm sick of him at this point.


Posts: 365   +138
OK, How long until they start selling data collection from the hands on the footballs. (How receiver X holds the ball, etc.)

Or how about when they start selling advertising space. I can see it now, football flying through the air with a giant 'Viagra' sign printed from the inside via electronic changing method. Each play is a different add... /sigh.

Seriously though, I thought they were already doing this nicely, moving the point after backwards, etc. It's been HOWLONG (many many years) before last year that an unblocked extra point was just missed? (And now they feel the need to do something? But I guess it started last year already so...) But they could narrow the uprights doing that very easily enough especially for distance. It becomes increasingly harder the narrower the uprights are.