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NFL clubs submit 7 rule changes, propose addition of 'booth umpire'

REFEREE-OFFICIAL

Four clubs submitted a total of seven playing rule change proposals for the 2020 season. They will be voted upon by owners at the NFL Annual Meeting, which is set for March 29 through April 1.

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.

To read the proposals in full detail, click here.

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