Thursday, March 21, 2013

NFL Deletes Tuck Rule During Annual Meeting in Phoenix

While baseball's Cactus League has been playing Spring Training games throughout Arizona this March, the National Football League held it's annual meeting in Phoenix, AZ, resulting in several rule changes that will be incorporated for the 2013-2014 football season. The following proposals passed:

» (1) Modification of Rule 15-9, which governs illegal challenge requests for instant replay review. Previously: When a team illegally challenges a play, the team is penalized 15 yards and the play may not be reviewed, even if the booth would have otherwise automatically reviewed the play independent of the coach's challenge. Situation: Thanksgiving's Texans-Lions game, Detroit coach Jim Schwartz threw a challenge flag after a touchdown and lost his right to an automatic booth review that would have reversed the call; the Lions were also penalized 15 yards for an illegal challenge. Previously: 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, loss of ability to review play via instant replay. Now: Team will be charged a timeout. If out of timeouts, team will lose 15 yards via a USC penalty. In either scenario, if it otherwise would been subject to automatic video instant replay review the play will be reviewed.
» (2) Defense may no longer load one side of the field with more than six players during point-after and field goal attempts. Previously: Legal. Now: Such alignment now results in a five-yard penalty for illegal formation.
» (3) Elimination of Rule 8-1-1-Forward Pass-a, the "Tuck Rule." Previously: If, after intentionally moving his hand forward, if a player (generally a quarterback) loses possession of the football as he attempts to tuck it back into his body, it is a forward pass. Only if he loses possession after completing the tucking action is it a fumble. Now: Either scenario results in a fumble. Passed 29-1-2 (Pittsburgh Steelers dissenting; New England Patriots & Washington Redskins abstaining).
» (4) Fullbacks, H-backs, F-backs and tight ends permitted to wear jerseys in the 40-range.
» (5) Banishment of peel-back-blocks wherein an offensive player blocks a defender moving back toward his own end zone below the waist and from the back. Previously: Legal. Now: Peel-back-blocks illegal inside the tackle box and may result in a 15-yard penalty for unnecssary roughness
» (6) Plays may no longer lead with the crown of their helmet outside of the tackle box, a move that is meant to address player safety. Previously: Legal. Now: 15-yard penalty for initiating forcible contact by delivering a blow via the top of his helmet against an opponent when both players are clearly outside of the tackle box area. Allows for rulings of incidental (non-violative) contact. Passed 31-1 (Cincinnati Bengals dissenting).

News: 'Tuck Rule' eliminated by wide margin at NFL Annual Meeting (NFL)


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