NFL referee lockout drags on: 4 issues keeping replacement refs on the field

Fans, coaches, and players keep grumbling, but replacement referees are still officiating in the NFL as the  regular officials remained locked out. . Here are the 4 factors keeping union refs and the NFL from reaching a deal – and leaving the replacements to botch calls through another weekend.

3. Extra officiating crews

Kevin P. Casey/AP/FIle
Referees talk during the in the first half of the game between the Dallas Cowboys and Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. The NFL wants to add extra officiating crews, something that the NFLRA opposes.

In order to reduce the strain and travel schedule of the existing referees, the NFL wants to add more. Currently, there are 17 officiating crews – one for each possible game per week, plus one alternate. The NFL wants to add three, bringing the total to 20 crews and 140 referees. This would improve the quality officiating, they say, because it would allow them to groom more refs, root out officials who are performing poorly, and ease rookie refs into NFL officiating. The referees feel their pay, and job security, would be affected.

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