New Tech From The U.S.F.L. May Be Coming To The NFL


United States Football League

The logo for the USFL.

Jack Hancsin, The Delphi Staff

The United States Football League is currently experimenting with new technology in its league that may be implemented into the NFL, if the league approves of it.

This new technology is meant to help eliminate the need for chains, implement 3D trackers of players and the ball and provide first-person camera angles and precise ball-spotting tech.

The 3D sensors would be on all players and officials, and inside the game ball, to help transmit data for TV broadcasts nearly instantly, with a “sub-second latency,” said Davyeon Ross, president of ShotTracker.

Davyeon Ross developed the sensors that are currently being used by the USFL. These new 3D sensors will help the game develop with safety, training and performing.

First-person camera angles help give the audience a view of what it would be like to be on the field. The USFL puts a microphone on a max of 16 players (eight per side) for TV audio on every play. They also may strap a camera to some coaches and officials. This gives the audience a view like they’re on the field. 

The ball-spotting technology is used in tennis. After an official spots the ball, eight optical cameras from Bolt6 check the spot. If the spot is in question, a referee can request Bolt6 to help make the call. The company said its system measures within millimeters using light detection and ranging technology.

Troy Vincent, the Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the USFL, said that going “chainless” was a league goal. The USFL and Fox are putting in laser first-down markers in their televised games next season. When watching football on TV, viewers will see a marker that marks the first down that’s not actually on the field. This new technology will put a marker on the TV and the field.

This technology will help players and referees know where the first down will be and help mark the ball.