The NFL makes adjustments to the game each season, and this year is no different. Teams voted on proposed rule changes Tuesday, ranging from players leaping over the line on field goal attempts to shortening overtime to 10 minutes.
The former was approved, meaning players can no longer jump over the line of scrimmage to block a field goal or extra point.
As far as shortened overtimes, that proposal was tabled as nine teams were opposed to it. In order for a rule to pass, 24 of 32 teams have to approve. Only 23 voted in favor of this proposal.
Here is the full list of changes coming for the upcoming season.
Full list of playing rules, bylaws and resolution proposals adopted by NFL clubs today at the annual meeting: pic.twitter.com/HtiUL4R0vH
— Randall Liu (@RLiuNFL) March 28, 2017
Other rule changes voted upon Tuesday:
1. The NFL passed a rule for automatic ejections for egregious hits to the head, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. This new rule comes a year after the league installed an automatic ejection system for players who committed two personal fouls in the same game.
Translation: Expect college-like targeting calls to lead to ejections.
2. The Washington Redskins’ proposal to place the ball at the 20-yard-line if the kicker puts it through the uprights on a kickoff failed, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported.
3. The owners approved centralized replay, giving senior VP of officiating Dean Blandino and the New York command center final say on calls in question, NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones reported.
4. Touchbacks on kickoffs will once again result in teams starting from the 25-yard line. The rule was renewed by team owners for another year rather than being made permanent.
5. Receivers running pass routes are now being given defenseless player protection.
6. Crackback blocks are now prohibited by a backfield player in motion, even if he’s not more than two yards outside the tackle box when the ball is snapped.
7. Unsportsmanlike penalties will be issued to players who commit multiple fouls during the same down in an effort to manipulate the game clock.
8. Similarly, action to conserve time after the two-minute warning of either half would be considered illegal and would result in a penalty now.
9. Ejections for two unsportsmanlike fouls in a single game, which was introduced last season, is now a permanent rule.
10. The proposal to shorten the overtime period from 15 minutes to 10 minutes in preseason and regular season games was tabled to May’s Spring League Meeting, per Rapoport. Rapoport added it likely will pass then after further discussion.
— (@3lone) November 14, 2016
The most notable change – and probably the most criticized – is the NFL banning players from jumping over the line to block kick attempts. It’s an exciting play that helped the Broncos beat the Saints in the final seconds last season, but the NFL views it as dangerous.
Although there haven’t been any injuries as a result of the leaps, it’s likely that more and more players would have attempted to block kicks in this manner as it gained popularity in recent years.