Rule changes pass for 2016 season

Posted by Duke Bobber on March 22, 2016 – 2:27 pm

160322-ref-950NFL owners voted on 19 proposed rule changes at this week’s league meetings in Boca Raton, Florida. The rule changes were presented by the Competition Committee, which Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy is a member of.

All proposals need to be approved by 24 of the 32 team owners to be passed. The following rule changes passed for the 2016 season, according to

– Permanently moves the line of scrimmage for Try kicks to the defensive team’s 15-yard line, and allows the defense to return any missed Try.

– Permits the offensive and defensive play callers on the coaching staffs to use the coach-to-player communication system regardless of whether they are on the field or in the coaches’ booth.

– Makes all chop blocks illegal.

– Expands the horse collar rule to include when a defender grabs the jersey at the nameplate or above and pulls a runner toward the ground.

– Makes it a foul for delay of game when a team attempts to call a timeout when it is not permitted to do so.

– Eliminates the five-yard penalty for an eligible receiver illegally touching a forward pass after being out of bounds and re-establishing himself inbounds, and makes it a loss of down.

– Eliminates multiple spots of enforcement for a double foul after a change of possession.

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Six rule changes get approval from owners

Posted by Mike Spofford on March 26, 2014 – 10:13 am

The votes are in from the NFL Annual Meeting in Orlando, and six of the 13 rule-change proposals were approved by the league’s owners. Here are the six proposals that passed:

1. Uprights will be extended to make them five feet taller.

2. Blockers cannot hit opponents in the side of the legs. The rule already prohibits hits to the back of the legs, and now language will be added to prohibit hits to the side of the legs as well.

3. Referees will be permitted to consult with the NFL officiating department during replay reviews via communication with the command center in New York.

4. The recovery of a loose ball in the field of play will now be reviewable via instant replay.

5. The clock will not be stopped on a sack.

6. Defensive fouls behind the line of scrimmage will be enforced from the previous spot, not from the end of the run or the spot of the foul.

Three proposals were voted down. Those were the proposals to move the kickoff to the 40-yard line, to expand instant replay to include personal-foul penalties, and to allow coaches to challenge any call other than scoring plays which are automatically reviewed.

The remaining four proposals were tabled. Those were to eliminate overtime in the preseason, to put six cameras on all boundary lines to guarantee coverage for replay reviews, to modify pass interference so it can be called within one yard of the line of scrimmage, and to move one-point PAT tries back to the 25-yard line. The league’s owners will meet again in May.

The league will experiment with longer PATs in the preseason. For Weeks 1 and 2 of the preseason, PAT tries will be snapped from the 20-yard line, making the kick a 38-yarder.


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Rule changes for 2013 outlined

Posted by Mike Spofford on August 2, 2013 – 11:59 am

NFL referee Bill Vinovich and part of his crew showed a video to media on Friday — the same video the players also will watch — that outlined the rule changes and points of emphasis for officiating in 2013. Here is the summary:

–A ball carrier who strikes a forcible blow with the crown of his helmet outside the tackle box will be flagged 15 yards for unnecessary roughness. Three components must be present to constitute a foul — the offensive player lining up the defensive player, lowering his head, and striking a forcible blow with the crown. If the offensive and defensive player are not lined up and coming at one another from an angle, there is no penalty. It’s also not a penalty if the contact occurs within the tackle box, which extends 3 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. “It’s meant to be an open-field penalty,” Vinovich said, and it won’t be called on goal-line plays. Vinovich added that after a comprehensive film study of the 2012 season, the penalty would have been called only three times.

–Defenses can have no more than six players on either side of the snapper on a field goal or point-after try. Also, defensive players on such plays can no longer throw any blocks below the waist, and the long snapper has been given the same protections as “defenseless” players, meaning no contact to that player’s head or neck area is allowed with the head, shoulder or forearm of another player.

–Peel-back blocks, in which an offensive player comes at a defensive player from the side and blocks him below the waist, are now illegal anywhere on the field. They were previously illegal only outside the tackle box.

–Thigh and knee pads are required to be worn by all players.

–The “tuck rule” has been eliminated. The forward passing motion is now considered stopped as soon as the “tuck” begins, not when it ends. If a passer loses control of the ball while trying to tuck it back into his body, it’s a fumble.

–Plays that are to be automatically reviewed by instant replay (scores, turnovers, under 2 minutes left in each half, overtime) will still be reviewed even if a head coach erroneously throws a challenge flag. Previously, if a challenge flag were thrown on an automatically reviewed play, the review would be canceled as long as it had not yet started. Now, the team needlessly throwing the challenge flag will be charged with a timeout, or penalized 15 yards if it has no timeouts, but the play will still be reviewed.

–Points of emphasis include bringing ball carriers deemed “in the grasp” under the umbrella of “defenseless” players, and calling facemask fouls on offensive players if they grasp and control a defensive player’s facemask while in the act of throwing a stiff arm or escaping a tackle attempt.

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