NFL employing ball optical tracking in hopes of season implementation

USA Today

The NFL is poised to make a significant technological leap by introducing ball optical tracking during the preseason, with plans to potentially implement the system for the 2024 season.

In March, the NFL competition committee greenlit the use of optical tracking for preseason games. Test runs were conducted at several venues, including Hard Rock Stadium, MetLife Stadium, and Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas.

This move has been long anticipated, given the technology’s success in sports like tennis and soccer, as well as its current use in the UFL. While the traditional chain gang will remain as a backup, the introduction of optical tracking aims to eliminate potential human error and outdated measurement methods, such as the infamous index card.


The preseason will offer a glimpse into how well the new system performs. If successful, its full-scale adoption across all stadiums could mark a significant transformation in the modern NFL.

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