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Penalties for illegal use of the helmet have a predictable 2019 debut

In 2018, greater scrutiny than ever before was placed on hits that fell under the new changes for use of the helmet to initiate contact. Players, coaches, and officials were instructed over a period of weeks on what was considered legal and illegal hits involving the use of the players helmet. This was a previous change from the 2013 crown rule, which was deleted entirely from the rulebook in 2018. Rule 12-2-9(b)(1): Forcibly hitting the defenseless player’s head or neck area with the helmet, facemask, forearm, or shoulder, even if the initial contact is lower than the player’s neck, and regardless of

NFL taking another look at adding an 8th official in preseason test

After taking a preseason off from experimenting with new officiating positions, the NFL will once again look at ways to add an eighth official on the field. Since 2010, there have been various experiments in preseason games with different mechanics for an extra official. At the beginning of the decade, the focus was adding more support for pass coverage. Beginning a few years after the umpire was moved to the offensive backfield in 2010, there has been an attempt to regain the old vantage point without exposing an official to injury in the "meat grinder" just outside of the tackle box. Executive

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NFL100: In 1979, the NFL renumbered its officials. After 3 years, they scrapped the failed plan

Forty years ago this fall, NFL officials had a radical new appearance. In 1979 the NFL put the referee in a different color cap, a new uniform design, and changed the way it issued officials' shirt numbers. But, by the end of the 1981 season, that numbering system was gone. What happened, why did it happen, and why didn't it stick? Call it a good idea that had too many unintended consequences. The NFL has issued numbers to its officiating staff since 1941. Under those early numbering systems, officials were grouped by position: referees received single-digit numbers, umpires were in the teens,

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NFL taking another look at adding an 8th official in preseason test

After taking a preseason off from experimenting with new officiating positions, the NFL will once again look at ways to add an eighth official on the field. Since 2010, there have been various experiments in preseason games with different mechanics for an extra official. At the beginning of the decade, the focus was adding more support for pass coverage. Beginning a few years after the umpire was moved to the offensive backfield in 2010, there has been an attempt to regain the old vantage point without exposing an official to injury in the "meat grinder" just outside of the tackle box. Executive

4 fouls on the play? It’s a team effort to help out the referee’s announcement

https://streamable.com/oe3bo Referee Shawn Hochuli had to sort out and announce four fouls this past weekend, drawing praise and admiration. First of all, when there are multiple fouls, the crew gets together and makes sure they are clear with the proper enforcement before giving options to the teams. This can get quite difficult when there is a change of possession, kick, interception or fumble. Once the the officials sort out the proper enforcement and/or get the enforcement choice from the offended team, the referee needs to inform TV and the fans just what the heck happened. The official scorer has to know each foul

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