Head of officials: No more index cards to measure first downs

Alberto Riveron, the NFL’s head of officials, has instructed referees not to use index cards to measure first downs anymore, as Gene Steratore did on Sunday night.

NFL head of officiating Al Riveron confirmed today that he has told officials that that’s not the proper protocol for measuring a first down, and not to do it again.

Riveron told Pro Football Talk that it’s not the proper protocol.

“When he did bring out the piece of paper, that was very, very unusual. The last time I saw it done was about four or five years ago, also in an NFL game, and that’s not the norm. Gene made the decision strictly on visual affirmation that the ball made the line to gain,” Riveron said. “I will advise them not to use it again. I’ve already done that.”

There is not a specific prohibition against using the folded card, as Steratore did, but Riveron has made it clear that officials he doesn’t want them using props anymore. Just their eyes.

Referee Gene Steratore carries a folded piece of paper he used to determine a measurement during Sunday’s Oakland-Dallas game. Officials have been told not to use paper anymore. (AP)