Yellow Line on the Football Field

You know, that new yellow line that shows up after the play is over. The one that helps the ref’ place the ball.

I would guess it’s some kind of laser - I can see shadows of players on it… but where does it come from?

Anyone know?

Thanks bunches1

Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, dogs are from Pluto.

The yellow line is not really there. It exists only on TV and is digitally inserted by a company named Princeton Video .

Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine

Thanks manhattan!

Speaking of which, that line is about the best sports TV innovation to come along in a long time!

Anyone have any other TV innovations that made watching a sport more fun?

The same sort of technology (I think) is used on the wall behind home plate in baseball. In reality, the wall is often blank, but ads can be added to it, customized to the particular market. e.g.: the ads St. Louis fans see during a Cards/Mets game will be different from the ones broadcast in New York. Targeted marketing with a twist.

I think someone was planning to do the same sort of thing with the mat in professional wrestling; maybe they already have.

It’s a long way to heaven, but only three short steps to hell.

As for Mr. Young’s question, the “Fox Box” for baseball is a neat idea. Trying to keep track of all that stuff in my head is a pain.

It’s a long way to heaven, but only three short steps to hell.

I HATE that line. Hate hate hate it. It gets in the way, it draws your eyes away from the field, and it makes it too easy to tell if they got the first down. Half of the fun of watching football was the suspense of trying to figure out whether or not a player managed to get the first down. Now that big yellow line takes all that away.

I would also like the Fox innovation of the little blue puck follower in hockey, if it ever actually stayed on the puck.

Yeah, and I hate that box with the score in it, too. Kinda’ ruins the suspense of whether your team is winning or not.

C’mon Libby, from the standpoint of a lifelong Lions fan, I need to know if it’s third and fifteen or third and twenty-five.

Oh, and as long as we’re talking football, I was at the Lions game on Thanksgiving day when two bozos walked by with a sheet-sized banner that read GO LOINS!. I can only hope said banner was not broadcast on national TV.

That little yellow line challenges everything I know about television production! How does it work???

In a newscast, for example, an image that doesn’t really exist can easily be shown on the screen. It’s called a keyed graphic and often takes the form of a lower third (e.g., those words on the bottom of the screen giving the reporter’s name and location). So we can easily have two images: one real, and one existing only on viewing screens.

Well and good, but the yellow line ain’t that!

During a newscast, the keyed graphic is added to the scene the camera is shooting, so it covers up the live shot. But during a football game, the opposite happens - the live shot (the players) cover the yellow line as if it were physically on the field!

Now, a keyed graphic can be made semi-transparent so that both it and the real scene show through, but that is definitely not what’s happening with the yellow line. There’s not even a faint ghost image of it going through the players, as there would be if it were simply a semi-transparent keyed graphic.

I realize stuff like this happens all the time in movies. It’s the bedrock of cool special effects. But effects like these take thousands of hours of postproduction time; the football game is shown live.

So how does Princeton Video do it in real time???

~ Complacency is far more dangerous than outrage ~

The last time someone asked this here someone gave this link describing how it works.

Back off, man. I’m a scientist.

Thanks for that link, Alphagene! I figured it had to be something very complex to pull it off in real time.

~ Complacency is far more dangerous than outrage ~

And from the standpoint of a lifelong Bills fan, if I can’t tell the difference between third and fifteen and third and twenty-five, that’s the day I stop watching the game and go to the optometrist.

I’m sorry, but I happen to prefer the suspense when they drag out the chains. If the spot was placed over the yellow line, I already know, and it’s just no fun anymore.

Funny story about the Loins, though. Kinda like that old Snickers commercial with the Chefs. I miss those…

Just this past week, I saw a run that ended with the ball appearing to end up just past the Magic Yellow Line, but the chains came out and it was spotted a foot or two short. So you still really can’t tell.

Great googly moogly…

Back off, man. I’m a scientist.

Drain Bead did note: I would also like the Fox innovation of the little blue puck follower in hockey, if it ever actually stayed on the puck.

A true story (I heard it with my own ears): During the period when the Hartford Whalers were undergoing their metamorphosis into the Carolina Hurricanes, the local sports station–WRBZ 850 “The Buzz”–ran some “this is what hockey is” shows. One confused guy called in to ask–seriously–if the players found the blue-haloed puck to be distracting!

I mostly watch football in taverns and bars, which can be quite loud, so the yellow line and the bug help me keep track of the situation.
During Fox NHL games, I found the blue puck and the streaks distracting. The blue did not follow the puck well and I was especially distracted when the blue dot was in the stands (eerie). I am glad Fox came up with the bug and Fox box, but they should leave it at that.

I can’t believe nobody made a joke about “Go Loins!”

Not only do I find the yellow line and the score box distracting, but also the players, commentary, crowd noises, and commercials. The broadcasters would do well to mute everthing and blank out the screen. Ahhh…


You don’t like the yellow line indicating how far the player needs to advance the ball, but you can usually see during the live action of the play where the first down marker is, so if you pay attention you would already know where he needs to get to.
I think the need some new announcers in sports today. I watch the game sunday with john madden and pat summerall. they really take the interest out of the game. Did you hear them arguing over the final 2 seconds of the first half? Madden and Summerall were mad about having the teams come back out then one of them says ‘well you play 30 minute halves not umm…’ and it took them forever to think of the answer and to come up with 29 minutes and 58 seconds. so thanks for listening and maybe i should have gone to the flame pit over that one.
The NFL still does not have instant replay in correct use, not even going to get into that argument.
Well i feel better now. Have a good day.