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AFL approves expansion of on-field communication for defenses

NEW YORK — The Arena Football League will be the first professional football league to allow defenses to use on-field communication devices, under a rules change approved Thursday by the league Board of Directors.

The decision to allow one defensive player on each team radio communication with coaches is aimed at improving competition and providing national TV rights owner ESPN with more content for fans, said Shy Anderson, chairman of the AFL Rules and Competition Committee.

“The atmosphere and the energy that the fans emit during an Arena Football game is such that both teams need to be on equal footing with communication from coaches,” Anderson said.

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