PHOENIX — The National Football League voted Thursday to experiment with commercial television's instant replays as an aid to officiating in nine exhibition games this summer.
Miami Coach Don Shula, a member of the competition committee, said an eighth official will watch a television set in the press box area to assist the seven field officials.
If the experiment is successful, the league will eventually adopt the plan for regular-season games, Shula said. It is also expected to be used during the playoffs next winter and in Super Bowl XX.
"The intent of the new rule is to correct the obvious mistake," Shula said, meaning, for example, a fumble that isn't seen by the officials on the field. There will be no attempt to correct routine mistakes.