Micro-Chipped Footballs

I won’t lay claim to this idea. Likely a thousand before me, have advocated for it.

After watching the exciting Als vs. Stamps game on the weekend and after hearing some commentary from Dave Dickenson on the rules and the Command Centre calls, it seems to me that it is long past due that microchips be imbedded in footballs and that some kind of electric wire be strung along (and beneath) the goal line, or perhaps a laser that would pick up the microchip. In this way, there would be zero ambiguity as to whether or not the ball broke the plane and furthermore, if it broke the plane before the whistle was blown.

Some folks might feel this further erodes the officials’ status on the field but I do not believe it would. Countless times, I have seen that mass of humanity piled up near, on or past (who the hell can tell?) the goal line and I wonder aloud, how amidst all of that confusion the ref and the command centre can make a call, unless they have x-ray vision.



…totally agree with you, this tech is available and should be used…

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While I agree getting the call right is more important than the officials feelings , where do you place the microchip in the ball , as only a portion of the ball needs to break the plane of the goal line.

We’re actively looking into it (with the obvious partner). The tech is not quite where I want it to be today but that’s changing fast. I agree; like tennis, it should be absolutely beyond reproach where the ball actually is/was and the game will move faster for it.

...sensor at the end of each tip and four around the fattest circumference...all points covered...

...I've read the sensor weighs about 4 grams, and a football around 400 grams, so it's not a limiting technical thing here...



The chip would tell you if the ball crossed the line but would not tell you if a knee touched the ground first but at least you would know if it did cross the line. I’m in.


That, my friend is a real spoiler, but a very good point! Micro chips in the knee pads?


You can locate it at a specific point and orientation and mathematically extrapolate the rest of the geometry of the ball.

That said, you need to establish both that the ball had crossed the plane AND was in possession of the scoring team.

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...chipping the ball won't solve everything, but solving one at-times-difficult-to-see variable will help...

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Agree with RedandWhite on this. Yes, a lot of good “ya but…” points have been made and a chip in the ball won’t resolve them all, but at least it will eliminate, once and for all, the ambiguity of whether or not the ball crossed the plane. Now we’d just need to get around the whole thing of ball weight and balance. I don’t know if microchips would have a significant impact one way or another.

And on that note, depending on how expensive the ball becomes, this may end up being a spoiler in terms of players triumphantly throwing the ball into the crowd. If microchips make the ball that much more expensive, then we can probably expect a penalty and fine for players throwing it into the crowd.

I think I have opened up a can of worms.


I thought the use of the SkyCam, directly above the ball and line of scrimmage, would be good for most situations on third down gambles (short yardage plays) and at the goal line to determine the position of the ball and carrier but it seems TSN has dropped the SkyCam this year… to save money? Thought to be a rarely used gimmick?

A technology that was there, but not foolproof, not used to it’s potential IMHO.

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You guys have gotta be kidding.

I wonder how much of a beating chips could take.

I wonder if they couldn’t have some chemical or something in the white lines on the ball which would trigger sensors?

Maybe add some of that white to the ball tips.

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boy, I’m really in the minority here.
Dead against adding this. Sounds like a video game.
This is a game, a sporting event, run and played by people, not brain surgery.

The play is run, the officials call it, then a review done at real game speed is my preference. I could easily lose the review too.

But please no microchip.


A voice of reason. Thank you everyman.

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More importantly, human brain damage needs to be removed from the game of football. Men should not be put in peril by profiteering owners or blood thirsty fans. I propose the CFL mandate robots be utilized in place of all Nationals/International. No more walking wounded. Damaged QB’s bots would be easily replaced by deep pocket investors. Fans would not have to get depressed if the QB gets knocked out for the season. Just bring in a clone of your number one QB from the manufacturer.

And so many more benefits come from the use of bots!

No player contract talks
No training staff needed
No team doctor required
Most of the team travels “luggage” rate
No practices needed
No showers to clean after games
No fractured dressing rooms
Better field goal rates
Better punting accuracy
CFL awards banquet would certainly be more entertaining.
Too many benefits to mention them all here!

Next step - Owners replace coaches with bots and manage their team from the press box by computer.

I can’t wait!


...definitely not a page the Luddites amongst us will want to visit

...I see your point, trying to keep the purity of the human element intact, but mistakes happen, and mistakes cause fans to turn away, and when fans turn away so do their dollars...video review is here to stay because it's been proven (regardless of how the ref up above feels) that refs are sometimes very wrong...the human element at real time speed cannot be trusted at times and solutions were implemented to correct the wrong...don't tell me you've never felt good when your team was rewarded with an overturned call because of video replay...you have, I have, everyone has...

...and tech is emerging and will change the game regardless...take sideline ipads that provide instant feedback to a QB on the last series for example...used to be the eye-in-the-sky coach did that talking through a headset, then photos faxed to the sideline were the new thing, now it's a quick review on a pad of some sorts...this has altered the game in my opinion to the better...

...location sensors in the ball are inevitable IMO

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Yes, all of the technology exists and just needs to be aggregated into a proper system. The AAF was really spending time developing the ball chip and related applications.

Some more ideas:

LED lights embedded in the field to light up on the sideline and hashmarks when a ball goes out of bounds - no question where to spot it.

Ball movement and lazer laser across the LOS integrated to catch offsides.

Ball movement followed in the dogpile as the ball carrier fights forward.

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