Instant replay

Instant replay

The instant replay review process focuses on expediting instant replay reviews and ensuring consistency. The NFL’s Art McNally GameDay Central in New York uses state-of-the-art technology and communications equipment to consult with replay officials and game officials at each NFL stadium on all instant replay decisions.

The process takes its form in six steps: 

  1. The play: The majority of plays are officiated on the field without involvement from instant replay. However, certain plays do require a second look.
  2. The challenge: Reviews are initiated by a head coach or the replay official. The head coach is allowed two per game, but a third challenge is allowed in the coach wins the first two challenges. The replay official can do this on any play after the two-minute warning, scoring plays and turnovers. 
  3. The process: From the same television feed that we as fans can see at home, replay technicians use the NFL’s Vision software to isolate the best angles for consulting with replay officials and referees during replay reviews, and making replay decisions. 
  4. The consult: While the referees meets with the other officials and the coach on the field, the NFL’s senior vice president of officiating, or senior designated members of the officiating department will examine the play.
  5. The review: An on-field instant replay technician will bring the referee a Microsoft Surface tablet, on which the referee will review the play. After the review, a senior designated member of the officiating department will make the final decision on the review.
  6. The decision: The referee announced the final ruling on the field.


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