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I'm only a casual fan and I don't follow every change in the rules each year.

But decades ago I seem to remember that in any given game, NFL or college, the measuring chains would be brought out onto the field at least 2 or 3 times to check whether a first down had been made or not.

But watching several games this season I believe I've only seen the measuring chains brought out once (last week in one of the wildcard playoff games).

Was there a rule change at some point that reduced the need for measuring with the chains? If not, what's going on?

  • I suspect this has to do with the use of replay to get more accurate ball placement at the end of a play, but can anybody confirm it or give a better explanation? – The Photon Jan 11 at 21:54

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