The NFL has relied on the ‘chain gang’ as its source to mark the spot of the football for a long time. However, the league is beginning to move in a different direction, one that embraces an intriguing new technology.

NFL looks to implement a new tech system to mark the spot of the football

The league tested optical tracking in two stadiums and the Super Bowl during the 2023-24 season for line-to-gain rulings, league officials said, per Tom Pelisssero. This tracking system could allow for more efficient spot-of-ball markings.

For years, the league has had its traditional ‘chain gang’ operate a set of chains that aid officials in markings. Countless football fans can recall times when their favorite team’s possession hinged on the chains’ markings. The time between the measurement and the final call seems like ages.

Now, teams and fans may not have to wait as long with the development of the league’s new technology. It could give rise to a process that will ensure a smoother flow of games.

Of course, the technology is not expected to be ready for the start of the 2024-25 season. Its implementation would require a vote, but the idea marks a notable transition for the NFL and possibly at other levels.

It would be sad to see chain crew members lose their traditional tasks. Yet, there could be other areas where members can make an impact. For example, maybe the new optical tracking tech requires oversight that members can provide.

All in all, the NFL is entering an exciting new era, and it will be interesting to see how technology helps move the game of football forward.