Baltimore Ravens Proposing 8th ‘Sky Judge’ Official, ‘Spot-&-Choose’ NFL Overtime Rule

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The Baltimore Ravens have reportedly proposed the addition of an eighth official called a “sky judge” to aid on-field officials during games.

The presence of a sky judge has been seen already in the Alliance of American Football League as well as the XFL. The booth umpire would have access to all broadcast angles and replays, and they would have an open line to on-field officials, allowing them to correct any obvious on-field errors in real time.

On top of wanting to add an extra official, Pro Football Talk reported the Baltimore Ravens will be proposing a pair of rule changes to overtime which would institute a “spot-and-choose” option.

Basically, the team that wins the coin toss picks where to place the ball at the start of overtime. The other team chooses whether to play on offense or defense.

“It’s believed that the break-even point would be the 13-yard line,” Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio wrote. “For the 14 or beyond, the team choosing offense or defense will be more likely to take the ball. For the 12 or closer, the team choosing offense or defense will be more likely to opt to defend.”

The Ravens will introduce two options on how to proceed from there, the Baltimore Sun reported.

In the first proposal, the overtime would be sudden death with the first team to score in a 10-minute period winning the game.

The second option: the game would continue for another 7 minutes and 30 seconds, and wouldn’t be sudden death, so both teams could have possession.

“The proposal is intended to address concerns about the importance of winning the coin toss and place more focus on strategy; under current rules, if the team that receives the ball first scores a touchdown on the opening drive, the game is over,” the Sun’s Daniel Oyefusi wrote.

Any rule changes must be approved by 24 of the 32 NFL owners.