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NFL owners pass 7 rule changes; P.I. reviewable

Owners voted to approve a series of rule proposals on Tuesday at the NFL's annual meeting in Phoenix, notably the expansion of reviewable plays.

Effective immediately -- and for one year only -- instant replay will include pass interference, called or not called on the field. It also expands automatic replay reviews to include scoring plays and turnovers negated by a foul, and any try attempt (extra point or two-point conversion).

"It's really great for the game, it really is," Giants general manager Dave Gettleman said on "Good Morning Football" on NFL Network. "Everybody saw what happened – it was a great football game between the Saints and the Rams (in the 2018 NFC Championship), and all everybody's talking about is the missed call. So let's keep our game as right as we can. Yesterday was a great step. ... You have to evolve, and the bottom line is it's a game played by humans, officiated by humans, coached by humans. We're all going to make mistakes, but this a great thing that we now know we can fix it."

The replay system will cover the following play situations:

  • (a) Plays involving possession.
  • (b) Plays involving touching of either the ball or the ground.
  • (c) Plays governed by the goal line.
  • (d) Plays governed by the boundary lines.
  • (e) Plays governed by the line of scrimmage.
  • (f) Plays governed by the line to gain.
  • (g) Number of players on the field at the snap, even when a foul is not called.
  • (h) Game administration: penalty enforcement, proper down, spot of foul, status of the game clock.
  • (i) Disqualification of a player.
  • (j) Pass interference, called or not called (offensive or defensive)

Replay expansion was one of seven playing rules that were adopted – 16 were proposed – in addition to six approved bylaws and two resolutions.

Approved 2019 playing rules summary:

1. By Competition Committee; Makes permanent the kickoff rule changes that were implemented during the 2018 season.

2. By Competition Committee; Expands protection to a defenseless player.

3. By Competition Committee; Changes the enforcement of double fouls when there is a change of possession.

4. By Competition Committee; Simplifies the application of scrimmage kick rules for missed field goals.

5. By Competition Committee; Allows teams to elect to enforce on the succeeding try or on the succeeding free kick an opponent's personal or unsportsmanlike conduct foul committed during a touchdown.

6c. By Competition Committee; For one year only, expands the reviewable plays in Instant Replay to include pass interference, called or not called on the field. Also expands automatic replay reviews to include scoring plays and turnovers negated by a foul, and any Try attempt (extra point or two-point conversion).

16. By Competition Committee; to amend Rule 15, Section 1, Article 5 to allow League personnel to disqualify for both flagrant football and non-football acts.

Approved 2019 bylaws summary:

1. By Buffalo; to amend Article XVII, Section 17.4 to liberalize the rule for reacquisition of a player assigned via waivers.

2. By Competition Committee; to amend Article XVII, Section 17.1 to provide clubs with more roster flexibility during training camp.

3. By Competition Committee; to amend Article XVIII, Section 18.1 to provide teams more effective access to players during the postseason.

4. By Competition Committee; to amend Article XIV, Section 14.3(B)(8) to make the tie-breaking procedures fairer for the selection meeting.

5. By Competition Committee; to amend Article XVII, Section 17.1 to provide additional roster spots during the preseason.

6. By Competition Committee; to amend Article XVII, Section 12.3 to offer more roster flexibility.

Approved 2019 resolutions summary:

1. By Competition Committee; to amend the Anti-Tampering Policy to permit an interested club to contact a Vested Veteran before clubs have been notified of the player's termination via the Player Personnel Notice if (i) the players is not subject to the Waivers System and, (ii) the employer club has publicly announced the player's release.

2a. By Competition Committee; for one year only, Clubs will receive the League's postgame responses to officiating inquiries submitted by any club.

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