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2018 rule changes

Scorecard of the 2018 NFL Spring Meeting



Below are the actions passed by the owners at their 2018 Spring Meeting in Atlanta. Each item is shown with the disposition of each proposal. 

The playing rules proposals begin with 12, the next number after the ones considered in March.

*Items that were tabled at the Annual Meeting in March are noted with an asterisk.

Playing rules

Proposed by the Competition Committee.

  1. Major revisions to kickoff rulesAPPROVED, revised to apply to 2018 season only
    1. 5 × 5 kicking team alignment
    2. Eliminate 5 yd kicking team running start
    3. Spread kicking team formation
    4. Must have 8 receiving team players in 15 yd setup zone
    5. No wedge blocks, limited tandem blocking
    6. Reduce blocking 15 yds from kickoff spot
    7. Unplayed kick in end zone is a touchback
  2. Allow Centralized Replay to call for any legal replay and to reverse an ejection* — APPROVED

Policy revisions

  1. Require players on field during anthem to stand or opt to remain in locker room, violations resulting in fine against team — APPROVED, by acclamation, “unanimously” according to the commissioner, but with abstentions, at least 30-0-2 (SF, OAK).

Event host city awards

Previously, the Super Bowl host was determined in a “bid” system over potentially multiple ballots. The new selection process will have owners vote to award the Super Bowl to one target city. The NFL Draft host will be determined by bids between Denver, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Nashville, or Cleveland/Canton, and has been announced that two different locations will be selected.

  1. Award Super Bowl LVII (2022 season) to Glendale, Ariz. — APPROVED
  2. Award Super Bowl LVIII (2023) to New Orleans — APPROVED
  3. Award the 2019 NFL Draft — AWARDED TO NASHVILLE
  4. Award the 2020 NFL Draft — NO VOTE, but narrowed to Cleveland/Canton, Kansas City, and Las Vegas


  1. Fund $90 million towards social-justice partnership with the Player Coalition agreed to in March – APPROVED
  2. Approval of pending Panthers sale to David Tepper for $2.275 billion cash — APPROVED, unanimously, sale officially closes in July
  3. Potential action regarding legalized sports gambling — no action reported other than commissioner’s statement


Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

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