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NFL considering rule change for onside kicks, sky judge

The NFL is considering some notable rule changes at its end of May owners’ meetings.

The kicking team of the Kansas City Chiefs scrambles to try and collect their second onside kick of the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on November 8, 2009 in Jacksonville, Florida. Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

NFL owners will meet on Thursday, May 28th, and they will be considering some rule changes that could make for an interesting adjustment. Two notable potential changes are a change to how teams can execute an onside kick type of play, and the addition of a booth umpire that is often called a “sky judge.”

Onside kick

Changes to the onside kick have made it near impossible to successfully convert. The Philadelphia Eagles have proposed an alternative in which a team would have a chance to maintain possession by going for it on 4th-and-15 from their own 25-yard line. Teams would have two chances to try this play, according to NFL reporter Judy Battista.

Sky Judge

This would be an official in the booth who has access to additional video to help officials on the field that might otherwise miss calls. What is not clear at this point is how much power that person would have as far as calling for replays or simply helping when a team throws a replay flag.

Both of these rule changes are likely to get some run in the preseason even if they do not get enough support from the owners, according to NFL reporter Tom Pelissero.