News

Scorecard of the 2019 NFL Spring Meeting

Below are the items under consideration by the owners at their 2019 Spring Meeting in Key Biscayne, Fla. Playing rules Modify overtime to use the opening coin toss to determine overtime options, ensure possession by both teams, and eliminate in preseason -- TABLED to next year, after being tabled from March Via Resolution G-4: allow Competition Committee to revise the pass-interference reviewable rules under certain stipulations -- APPROVED Policy items Ban the use during training camp of the Oklahoma drill, The Bull in the Ring/King of the Circle drill, and Half Line/3 Spot/Pods drill -- APPROVED Event host city awards The NFL Draft host is determined

Owners allow Competition Committee to tinker with pass-interference reviewable rule

NFL owners gave authority to the Competition Committee to revise the rule it passed in March allowing offensive and defensive pass interference to be subject to coach's challenges or replay official reviews. The approval gives the ability for the final rule to be changed with certain limitations. The ownership's rule change approval in March was against the Competition Committee's initial recommendation to not make subjective plays, such as pass interference and other penalties, subject to review. That recommendation was in line with the commandments established under the challenge-based replay system since it was implemented in 1999, which the committee held fast

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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