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NFL Officials Explain Rules Changes

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 5, 2010 – 1:29 pm

As we mentioned earlier this morning, a group of NFL officials and a regional supervisor are visiting 2010 Verizon Vikings Training Camp for the next few days. Along with attending practices and team meetings to work with players and coaches, the group has also met with reporters to explain some of the rules changes that will go into effect this season.

I want to start by saying it’s impressive that the NFL has taken the initiative of player safety so seriously. Most of the rules changes are made with player safety – and the safety of the officials – in mind and this tactic will help to preserve the great game of football and the success of the NFL.

I’ll list, word-for-word, the new or adjust rules at the end of this blog entry for those interested in the minutia. For those who want a quick read and then want to move on to something else, here are the basics…

– Protection for defenseless players (receivers, long snappers, QBs in the act of throwing, kickers/punters after the ball is kicked, etc.)
— Defenders on the line of scrimmage during a FG attempt, punt or PAT must line up with their entire body outside of the snapper’s shoulder(s).
— The ball will be ruled dead if the runner’s helmet comes off.
— Penalty yardage for interference with the opportunity to make a catch has been adjusted; it will now be a spot foul.
— After the half has expired, dead ball personal fouls will be enforced at the start of the next half/overtime.
— New overtime rule (explained below).
— Replay review timing (explained below).
— Eligibility numbers for defensive linemen, LBs and centers have expanded.
— Loose balls striking objects (video boards, score boards, camera wires, etc.) results in dead ball.

Also, here are the points of emphasis for the 2010 season:
— Sportsmanship
— Exaggerated gestures toward officials
— Late hits
— Low blocks
— Positioning of umpire

The point of emphasis on the position of the umpire will now have the umpire lining up in the offensive backfield instead of behind the defensive linemen. The reasoning for this is the safety of the umpire. The difficulties in this change include spotting the ball after a play, keeping track of substitutions, illegal players downfield and a presence among players immediately after a play. The positive about this change is that the umpire will be able to spot a holding call more clearly. In addition, umpires will resume their traditional position behind the line of scrimmage during the last 2 minutes of each half.

Here are the rules changes word-for-word:

Rule 4-7-4: If a replay review inside of one minute of either half results in the on-field ruling being reversed and the correct ruling would not have stopped the game clock, then the officials will run 10 seconds off the game clock before permitting the ball to be put in play on the ready-for-play signal.

5-1-2: The eligible jersey numbers for defensive linemen, LBs and centers have expanded.

7-2-2: During a FG attempt, punt or PAT, a team B player, who is within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage at the snap, must have his entire body outside the snapper’s shoulder pads.

7-4-1: The ball will be dead if a runner’s helmet comes off.

7-4-3: If a loose ball in play strikes a video board, guide wire, sky cam or any other object, the ball will be dead immediately and the down will be replayed at the previous spot.

10-2-2: The penalty yardage for interference when a kicking team player attempts to catch a muffed kick has been eliminated.

12-2-8, 13: Protection for defenseless players has been standardized and expanded.

14-1-7: After the half has expired, dead ball personal fouls by the offense or defense will be enforced on the succeeding kickoff.

16-1-3, 7: In overtime of postseason games, a FG by the team that possesses the ball first will not end the game.


Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 6 Comments »


6 Responses to “NFL Officials Explain Rules Changes”

  1. By MGR4FUN on Aug 5, 2010 | Reply

    thanks mike well done even i could understand that explanation … player protection and protection of the zebraz is a very good thing

  2. By ibleedpurple on Aug 5, 2010 | Reply

    Regarding Rule 16-1-3,7: If the team that first possesses the ball scores a TD. Does that end the game without the other team having an opportunity for possession?

  3. By filbert33 on Aug 5, 2010 | Reply

    in response to ibleedpurple.

    if the opening team scores a touchdown the game would end.

  4. By evalu8er on Aug 5, 2010 | Reply

    Would these rules have provided better protection to #4 in the NFC game, or more consistent penalties to the Saints?

    In terms of sportsmanship- was the threats like the Saints are currently making be addressed as unsportsmanlike??

  5. By joe on Aug 5, 2010 | Reply

    far too gay – this used to be a man’s sport. Now it is being watered down to prissy hanna montana media vehicle for bud light commercials.

    Reall a shame.

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