The primary goal of those involved in the Alliance of American Football is not to revolutionize the game, but to find a place in it for themselves.
So when the Arizona Hotshots play the Salt Lake Stallions Sunday night, we’ll see the usual amounts of blocking, tackling, running and passing.
But the AAF also is a football laboratory of sorts. Experiments will be conducted by the fledgling league, and who knows, some of what works might one day be adopted by the NFL and colleges.
Baseball, hockey and other sports have tested rules changes at the minor-league level, but football hasn’t had that same level of ability since 2007, when NFL Europe folded.
Here are the main unique rules and game management tweaks the AAF will employ this season, and corresponding thoughts from Hotshots coach Rick Neuheisel and general manager Phil Savage.
Eye in the sky
– A ninth member of the officiating crew called the “Skyjudge” will be in the press box to review issues with player safety as well as pass interference in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter.
This official will have a camera view that shows all 22 players on the field. Conceivably, a Skyjudge could have overturned the lack of a pass-interference call that helped the Rams beat the Saints in the NFC Championship Game this year.