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2020 NFL Competition Committee and club-submitted rules proposals

REFEREE-OFFICIAL

During upcoming owners' meetings, clubs will vote on the following proposed rules changes. All proposals must be approved by 75 percent (24) of the owners to be adopted. NFL clubs will consider and vote on the following Competition Committee and club-submitted proposals.

Competition Committee rules proposals:

  • By the Competition Committee, to amend Rule 12, Section 2, Article 9, to expand defenseless player protection to a kickoff or punt returner who is in possession of the ball but who has not had time to avoid or ward off the impending contact of an opponent.
  • By the Competition Committee, to amend Rule 4, Section 3, Article 2, to prevent teams from manipulating the game clock by committing multiple dead-ball fouls while the clock is running.

Last month, four clubs submitted a total of seven playing rule change proposals for the 2020 season.

Among the proposals is the addition of a "booth umpire" as the eighth member of an officiating crew. It would create an officiating advisor who is positioned somewhere other than the playing field, with full communication to on-field officials and access to a television monitor that displays all broadcast angles provided through the NFL's network independence system.

Below is a summary of the seven rule proposals and which teams submitted them:

1. By Philadelphia; to amend Rule 12, Section 2, Article 7, to modify the blindside block rule to prevent unnecessary fouls.

  • Effect: Modifies the blindside block rule to prevent unnecessary fouls.
  • Reason: Simplifies Rule.

2. By Philadelphia; to amend Rule 15, Section 2, to make permanent the expansion of automatic replay reviews to include scoring plays and turnovers negated by a foul, and any successful or unsuccessful Try attempt.

  • Effect: Makes permanent the 2019 additions to the list of plays subject to automatic review.
  • Reason: Competitive equity.

3. By Philadelphia; to amend Rule 6, Section 1, Article 1, to provide an alternative to the onside kick that would allow a team who is trailing in the game an opportunity to maintain possession of the ball after scoring.

  • Effect: Permits a team to maintain possession of the ball after a score by substituting one offensive play (4th and 15 from the kicking team's 25-yard line) for an onside kickoff attempt.
  • Reason: Provides excitement and competition late in the game.

4. By Philadelphia; to amend Rule16, Section 1, to restore preseason and regular season overtime to fifteen minutes and to implement rules to minimize the impact of the overtime coin toss.

  • Effect: Minimizes the effect of the overtime coin toss and extends overtime to 15 minutes in the preseason and regular season.
  • Reason: Competitive equity. Fan engagement.

5. By Miami; to amend Rule 4, Section 3, Article 2, to provide the option to the defense for the game clock to start on the Referee's signal if the defense declines an offensive penalty that occurs late in either half.

  • Effect: Provides the option to the defense for the game clock to start on the Referee's signal if the defense declines an offensive penalty that occurs late in either half.
  • Reason: Competitive equity.

6. By Baltimore and Los Angeles Chargers; to amend Rule 19, Section 2, to add a "booth umpire" as an eighth game official to the officiating crew.

  • Effect: Creates an officiating advisor who is positioned somewhere other than the playing field, with full communication to on-field officials and access to a television monitor that displays all broadcast angles provided through the NFL's network independence system.
  • Reason: Competitive equity. Pace of play. Player health and safety.

7. By Baltimore and Los Angeles Chargers; to amend Rule 19, Section 2, to add a Senior Technology Advisor to the Referee to assist the officiating crew.

  • Effect: Creates an officiating advisor who is positioned somewhere other than the playing field, with full communication to on-field officials and access to a television monitor that displays all broadcast angles provided through the NFL's network independence system.
  • Reason: Competitive equity. Pace of play. Player health and safety.

There are also three bylaw proposals:

1. By Detroit, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay; for one year only, permits clubs to place players on Reserve/Injured or Reserve/Non-Football Injury or Illness beginning the day of the roster reduction and have such players be eligible to be designated for return.

2. By League Office; increases the number of players that may be designated for return from two to three. Incorporates interpretations applicable to bye weeks during the regular season and postseason.

3. By Competition Committee; increases the number of playoff teams from 12 to 14. Establishes a protocol for seeding Wild Card games and Divisional playoff games.

There are two resolution proposals:

G-2. By Philadelphia; eliminates the prohibition on electronic devices in clubcontrolled areas during the period ninety minutes prior to kickoff.

G-3. By Philadelphia; requires the home club to furnish a third, movable monitor in home and visitor coaches' booths

To read the proposals in full detail, click here.

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