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Using replay to determine whether a pass was catchable may be problematic

Getty Images Now that pass interference has been added to the list of calls that can be reviewed in instant replay, one particular element of pass interference calls is likely to draw significant scrutiny: Whether or not a pass was catchable.
Pass interference is only supposed to be called on catchable passes, and we may see coaches throw challenge flags not to question whether or not there was contact constituting pass interference, but whether or not the pass in question was catchable.
Terry McAulay, the former NFL referee who now serves as a rules analyst for NBC, wrote on Twitter that he’s concerned about the subjectivity of what constitutes a catchable pass, and how well the league’s officiating department will be able to determine on replay whether a pass was catchable.
“Another question about OPI/DPI in replay: The rules state that a pass must be catchable for there to be foul.
Will that be part of the review?
It is highly subjective and currently there are no written guidelines,” McAulay wrote.
That has the potential to be a thorny issue.
When officials rule a pass uncatchable, they’re really not doing much more than guessing about whether a receiver might have caught the pass — and that’s not an easy guess to make, considering we’ve all seen NFL wide receivers make spectacular catches on passes that didn’t look catchable.
Getting those calls right will be an important part of making replay on pass interference work.

Getty Images

Now that pass interference has been added to the list of calls that can be reviewed in instant replay, one particular element of pass interference calls is likely to draw significant scrutiny: Whether or not a pass was catchable.

Pass interference is only supposed to be called on catchable passes, and we may see coaches throw challenge flags not to question whether or not there was contact constituting pass interference, but whether or not the pass in question was catchable.

Terry McAulay, the former NFL referee who now serves as a rules analyst for NBC, wrote on Twitter that he’s concerned about the subjectivity of what constitutes a catchable pass, and how well the league’s officiating department will be able to determine on replay whether a pass was catchable.

“Another question about OPI/DPI…

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