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Coronavirus Pandemic

NFL Annual Meeting canceled, rules changes vote put off until May



Commissioner Roger Goodell announced today that after “careful consideration and consultation with medical experts,” the NFL has canceled the March 29-April 1, Annual Meeting due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic.

Instead, the league will conduct its business at the NFL Spring Meeting, scheduled for May 19-20.

This means that the NFL Competition Committee will not consider rules changes until after the start of the officiating new year on May 15.

The NFL officials are still in the “dark period.” The collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and its game officials states that the league will not communicate with the officials from the end of the season until May 15. This lets NFL game officials concentrate on their full-time jobs.

Normally the NFL rule change votes happen at the Annual Meeting in March. This year, the owners won’t vote on rule changes until after May 15.

At this point, we don’t know if the meetings on May 19-20 will include officials’ input on proposed rule changes.

The game officials won’t gather together as a group until a mini clinic in New York City in May around the start of the officiating new year. Hopefully, the NFL won’t have to postpone that clinic.

The text of the NFL statement on the owner’s meeting cancellation is below. Please stay safe and listen to medical experts.

Mark Schultz is a high school football official, freelance writer and journalist. He first became interested in officiating when he was six years old, was watching a NFL game with his father and asked the fateful question, "Dad, what are those guys in the striped shirts doing?"