News

New proposal to add fouls to replay will not fix no-calls

After just over two months of NFL fans, coaches, and players calling for changes to the sphere of plays covered by instant replay, the Competition Committee has proposed making fouls for pass interference, roughing the passer, and hits on a defenseless player subject to review, the first proposal of its kind under the current replay system. While many may believe that this is a proposed fix to the no-call for defensive pass interference in last season's NFC Championship Game, Competition Committee chairman Rich McKay and executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent suggested in a news conference Friday morning

Competition Committee releases 6 proposals for rules changes

The NFL Competition Committee has released their proposed rules in advance of the annual owners meeting that will take place in Phoenix on March 24-27. Similar to some of the proposals submitted by the teams, the Competition Committee has also proposed changes to instant replay, including the review of pass interference, roughing the passer, and hits on a defenseless receiver. This is the first time under the current iteration of the replay system that the Competition Committee has proposed making fouls reviewable -- with the exception of twelve men on the field, which has always been a reviewable play. Playing rules proposals

2018 rule changes

NFL adds approved ruling on fumble/safety reviews to casebook for playoffs

The NFL officiating department took the unusual, but not unprecedented, step of adding an approved ruling to the current casebook, effective for the postseason. Small tweaks have been made in the past entering the postseason, which is deemed to be equitable when everyone's record resets to 0-0. Last season, we noted that the replay standards that were heavy-handed in the regular season showed signs of aligning closer to the expected standard in the Wild Card round. This was even more apparent when a catch was upheld in the Super Bowl that might have been incomplete in the regular season. Last season,

Mechanics

Keeping up with the downs: Referee John Parry uses an old-school method for game administration

http://gty.im/1385217 Officials from pee-wee games to the Super Bowl all use a very simple piece of equipment to keep track of the downs. All officials wear an elastic band around their wrist and a loop attached to the band. The officials move the loop over their finger or fingers to show the down (for instance, according to the photo above, it is second down). Before the elastic band, officials tied two rubber bands together and that acted as a down indicator. Officials had to carry a few spares on the field, because the rubber bands would eventually break due to wear and exposure

Officials used to use a gunshot to signal the end to a quarter or half

It seems strange today, but NFL officials used to fire a starter's pistol to end each quarter. It's a mechanic that dated back to the start of pro football up until the NFL discontinued the practice starting in 1994. When the NFL was in its infancy and up through the 1960s, stadium clocks were not the official time and officials kept time on the field. It used to fall to the back judge to keep time. When the NFL expanded to six-man crews in 1965, the line judge took over timing duties. A member of the chain crew would normally carry

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