A Refresher On NFL Rules Changes And Points Of Emphasis

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 5, 2011 – 1:12 pm

I just returned from a meeting with Jeff Triplette and a few officials on his crew. They took some time to explain the rules changes and points of emphasis that will take effect this year. We’ve gone over the rules changes here on in the past, but it makes sense to revisit them right now.

– A new article has been added to Rule 12, Section 2 and it incorporates all rules regarding “defenseless players” into new a new article and it standardizes the defenseless players’ protection. The following types of players will now be considered defenseless: a receiver who “has not clearly become a runner,” a kicker or punter during a return, a QB following a change of possession (unless he enters the play in an attempt to tackle), as well as a player who takes a blindside block from an opponent “moving toward his own endline” and approaches from the back or side.

– Kickoffs have been moved back from the 35-yardline to the 30-yardline and now no kicking team player (except the kicker) can be lined up more than five yards behind its restraining line after the ball has been made ready for play.

– Previously defenders were penalized for any contact made to the head area of a passer, regardless of intent or how hard the contact. But now, hits to the head of a passer by an opponent’s hands, arms or other parts of the body will not be fouls unless they are forcible blows.

– There were also changes with regard to instant replay. A Replay Official will initiate review of all scoring plays throughout the game. The Replay Official cannot initiate a review for a team – and a team is prevented from challenging a play – if that team commits a foul that prevents the next snap.

Here are the points of emphasis mentioned by Triplette and his crew:
— The completion of a catch. Receivers must secure possession of the ball, get two feet down or another body part down in bounds and then after both of those are satisfied the receiver must make a football move common to the game.
— Runners grasping the facemask. Officials are going to cut down on the ability of a ball carrier to grasp the facemask of a defender. Stiff arms are still allowed, but grasping the facemask is illegal and so are forceful blows to the head.
— Horse collar tackles. This type of tackle is obviously dangerous and illegal.
— Illegal low blocks, specifically chop blocks and chips.

Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 16 Comments »

16 Responses to “A Refresher On NFL Rules Changes And Points Of Emphasis”

  1. By blockaid on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    The third section above reads, “Kickoffs have been moved back from 35-yardline to the 30-yardline.” Is that correct, or did the order mistakenly get reversed?

  2. By skol55 on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    blockaid – I was wondering the same thing. I don’t believe it’s correct. I think it’s reversed like you say. Pretty sure they are moving up from the 30 yard line to the 35 yard line for kickoffs this year.

  3. By Titus on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    Why so many blogs in rapid succession? Slow down so the bloggers can respond to one another. Yikes.

  4. By Elgar on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    Pump the blogs out faster. Only the strong survive.

  5. By josh on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    live coverage of practice was cool but it was kinda hard to see the real action on the field????

  6. By Daniel on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    This should be the topic fellas. “Taylor Mays” 49ers want to trade him, Mike singleterry wanted him so bad that he got into a heated arguement with the 49ers owner for jimmy clauson but mike got his way. They are saying we should be able to pick up Mays for a 6th rounder! We should not even blink at this. Mays has a VERY hight future and could be a big time steal. I think Mays could be a big time steal. What do you guys think?

  7. By Titus on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    Slow down, allow the blogs to develop. Only the intelligent rule.

  8. By Frederick Jones on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply


    You have to admit Elgar’s comment was hilarious. lol

  9. By Frederick Jones on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply


    Have you noticed all the new names on the blog?

    Did a lot of people change their names, or are there really this many new people writing?

  10. By Titus on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    Of course it was hilarious, Fred. You have to admit we, at, all like to stir the pot.
    Yeah, where is everyone? Maybe bloggers changed their name for the new season?

  11. By sandiamond on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    Daniel I hope this dream pick-up will come true also. We have no S over 6 feet tall and only 2 most have heard of… sad hole in the defense right now, imo

  12. By DuaneN on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    Wish you could challenge pass interference calls. Don’t really understand why you can’t.

  13. By Arrow86 on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t follow the Niners much. Did Taylor Mays play a lot as a rookie? As you could tell, I typed this slow, so a certain someone could keep up. (Just kidding)

  14. By Daniel on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    Taylor Mays will be a great great fit with a High impact with our team. San fran wants to deal him for peanuts. Go get this guy Vikes! Reunite singleterry with this guy! Could be a pro bowler for years!

  15. By SoCalVikingDean on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    the new names must be all the new guys jumping on that vikings bandwagon… is getting pretty full this year….

  16. By Tom on Aug 6, 2011 | Reply

    I agree, we could use another LB with the departure of Leber this off-season. I have never been this excited for a Vikings season, well, maybe before ’09. Coach Frazier has brought in some great assistants and has already shown he has a bigger set than Childress had by cutting McKinnie for coming in hurt and out of shape. Childress was alot of talk and no action on that concept.

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