FOXBORO, Mass. — The NFL plans to randomly test the pressure of footballs at halftime this offseason, but apparently they haven’t fully described the new procedures to their officials.
NFL back judge Tony Steratore spoke to the media Friday at Gillette Stadium, describing the NFL’s new rules for the 2015 season, and said he’s not sure how the league will handle footballs that are found under-inflated caused by the ideal gas law.
“Balls are legal between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds,” Steratore said.
“That would be outside — and I’m not real sure how they’re going to handle it. That’s a question more for football ops. I’ll stick to, for us, what we’re qualified to speak about and what’s relevant to us. I’m not a physicist, so gas law and those types of things — I’m OK with DPI, OPI and ICB, but I’m not a gas-law guy.”
Steratore said NFL officials don’t put much thought into the PSI of footballs once the game starts.
“Our procedure this year that we have in place is that the referee will assign two members of his crew, they’ll do the regular ball checks the way we’ve done to check the pressure and approve the balls prior to the game,” Steratore said. “Then once the game starts, once we get on the field, in the very short time before the beginning of the game, we turn them over, kind of, I guess, chain of custody, for lack of a better term. That’s where the K-ball folks and the folks from football ops will take it from that point. Once we actually get into the game, that’s not going to be a real concern of the game officials. We handle that stuff prior to the game.”
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