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The USFL‘s inaugural season debuts on April 16 with first-down technology introduced to the game.
Ahead of next week’s season opener, the league debuted how it will decide first downs using technology that measures more accurately.
In preseason games over the weekend, a first-down measuring system was introduced that doesn’t involve the chains the NFL uses. Instead, the USFL will have chips implanted in footballs that can determine if the ball has reached the first-down marker.
Similar to the measuring system used to determine if a tennis ball is in or out, the USFL will use the chip and a virtual yellow first-down line that will measure if the ball crossed the first down line or not via the virtual replay system.
CBS Sports reports that the NFL currently uses a chip in its footballs, which are used to track Next Gen stats but not for officiating.
Not only will 16 players be mic’d up each game, but every USFL game will have two skycams broadcasting.
All eight USFL teams will play next weekend, including the inaugural game between the New Jersey Generals and Birmingham Stallions on April 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Generals at Stallions, April 16, 7:30 p.m. ET, FOX, NBC, Peacock
Houston Gamblers at Michigan Panthers, April 17, noon ET, NBC, Peacock
Philadelphia Stars vs. New Orleans Breakers, April 17, 4 p.m. ET, USA
Tampa Bay Bandits at Pittsburgh Maulers, April 17, 8 p.m. ET, FS1
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