It’s that time of the year when the 32 NFL owners decide what rules to change for the upcoming NFL season. The owners will discuss these possible rule changes next week at the League Meetings in Orlando.
Two interesting rules changes could be the catch and pass interference rules. The NFL is looking to simplify the catch rule and possibly limit the damage of a pass interference call.
We’ll see what passes.
Here are the proposed rule changes:
1. By Competition Committee; Makes permanent the playing rule that changes the spot of the next snap after a touchback resulting from a free kick to the 25-yard line.
2. By Competition Committee; Changes standard for a catch:
ARTICLE 3. COMPLETED OR INTERCEPTED PASS. A player who makes a catch may advance the ball as a runner. A forward pass is complete (by the offense) or intercepted (by the defense) in the field of play, at the sideline, or in the end zone if a player, who is in bounds:
(a) secures control of the ball in his hands or arms, prior to the ball touching the ground; and
(b) touches the ground inbounds with both feet or with any part of his body other than his hands; and
(c) after (a) and (b) have been fulfilled, performs any act common to the game (e.g., tuck the ball away, extend it towards or over the goal line or the line to gain, take an additional step, turn upfield, or avoid or ward off an opponent), or he maintains control of the ball long enough to do so.
Note 1: Movement of the ball does not automatically result in loss of control.
Note 2: If a player, who satisfied (a) and (b), but has not satisfied (c), contacts the ground and loses control of the ball, it is an incomplete pass if the ball hits the ground before he regains control, or if he regains control out of bounds.
Note 3: A receiver is considered a player in a defenseless posture (See Rule 12, Section 2, Article 7) throughout the entire process of the catch and until the player is capable of avoiding or warding off the impending contact of an opponent.
Note 4: If a pass is caught simultaneously by two eligible opponents, and both players retain it, the ball belongs to the passers. It is not a simultaneous catch if a player gains control first and an opponent subsequently gains joint control.
Note 5: If a player, who is in possession of the ball, is held up and carried out of bounds by an opponent before both feet or any part of his body other than his hands touches the ground inbounds, it is a completed or intercepted pass.
3. By Competition Committee; Makes the penalties for Illegal Batting & Kicking the same.
4. By Los Angeles Chargers; Amends Rule 15, Section 2, Article 5 to add fouls for roughing the passer and fouls against players in a defenseless posture as reviewable plays in the instant replay system.
5. By Washington; Amends Rule 15, Section 2, Article 5 to add review of personal fouls as reviewable plays in the instant replay system.
6. By New York Jets; Amends Rule 8, Section 5, Articles 1-4 to change the enforcement for defensive pass interference.
Penalty: For pass interference by the defense: First down for the offensive team and 15- yard penalty from the previous spot. In the event of an intentional and egregious foul, first down for the offensive team at the spot of the foul.
If the interference is also a personal foul (12-2), the 15-yard penalty for such a foul is also enforced, either from the spot of the foul (for interference), or from the end of the run if the foul for pass interference is declined. If the interference is behind the defensive goal line, it is first down for the offensive team on the defense’s one-yard line, or, if the previous spot was inside the two-yard line, halfway between the previous spot and the goal line.
Penalty: For pass interference by the offense: Loss of 10 yards from the previous spot.
7 By Competition Committee; Authorizes the designated member of the Officiating department to instruct on-field game officials to disqualify a player for a flagrant non-football act when a foul for that act is called on the field.
8. By Competition Committee; Conforms the amount of time in which a team must challenge a play if there is a television commercial break following the play in question.
9. By Competition Committee; Eliminates the requirement that a team who scores a winning touchdown at the end of regulation of a game to kick the extra point or go for two-point conversion.
10. By Competition Committee; If there is a turnover, a team may win an overtime game, even though it scores on its second possession.