2019 NFL: Rule Changes

tims4wins

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Didn't want to bury this in the NFCCG game thread. BB has been advocating "make everything reviewable" for years.

http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/25884090/nfl-likely-consider-judgment-challenge-penalty-disincentive

As a possible solution to avoid the type of missed call from the NFC Championship Game, the NFL is expected to consider a plan that would allow limited coaches' challenges for incorrect judgment calls that also could include a penalty or time run off if the coach is wrong, per a league source.
 

Van Everyman

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This is an abomination.

By which I mean this sentence structure:

It is a proposal designed to get those against allowed coaches' challenges of officials' judgment calls more supportive of the potential rule change.
 

DrewDawg

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Didn't want to bury this in the NFCCG game thread. BB has been advocating "make everything reviewable" for years.

http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/25884090/nfl-likely-consider-judgment-challenge-penalty-disincentive

As a possible solution to avoid the type of missed call from the NFC Championship Game, the NFL is expected to consider a plan that would allow limited coaches' challenges for incorrect judgment calls that also could include a penalty or time run off if the coach is wrong, per a league source.
So you could get 2 penalties on one play? Awesome.

And the play that prompted this happened after 2 minute warning, so they'll be allowing coaches to challenge that late? But not other things?

So next year we get a "If they can challenge PI call with 90 seconds left, why won't they let them challenge the spot? If you want to get the calls right, don't you want to get all of them right?"
 

Ed Hillel

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So you could get 2 penalties on one play? Awesome.
Think of the drama when Andy Reid throws a flag for a bad roughing call, we get a five minute commercial break and overturn, then Belichick tosses a flag for holding or DPI for the same play, we get more commercials, and then an overturn again!

The idea of getting every call right is nice, but this has potential to really suck for viewing. The controversy won’t be going away.
 

tims4wins

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So you could get 2 penalties on one play? Awesome.

And the play that prompted this happened after 2 minute warning, so they'll be allowing coaches to challenge that late? But not other things?

So next year we get a "If they can challenge PI call with 90 seconds left, why won't they let them challenge the spot? If you want to get the calls right, don't you want to get all of them right?"
You make two great points. Imagine a play where you complete a big play, maybe even for a TD, but you get called for offensive holding. So instead of the great play, maybe now you are facing 1st and 20, or 2nd and 15, or whatever. So you challenge... and you lose, and are penalized another 15 yards. Drive over.

The two minute warning point is also very good. This is going to be very difficult for the NFL to manage. Let's just say my confidence in their ability to do this successful is... not high.
 

CFB_Rules

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I don't like it and I don't expect it to be approved. A few reasons why:

It ruins flow even more than the current replay system, and flow is important to the watchability of a product. You know how on every tight touchdown or catch play you celebrate but in the back of your head you think "This might not count, it will go to review". Now expect that on every play. Wide open receiver for a TD? Wait, maybe the other team will challenge holding.

There will be no such thing as a walk-off win in a world where fouls are challengable. Super Bowl XXXVI, Super Bowl LI, and last week's AFC title game would all have ended very differently, with a Referee looking into a tablet and then announcing to the world that the game was over several minutes after the play. The other team would have no incentive NOT to challenge a game-winning play for any foul they could imagine.

Lots of other contingencies: What if there are multiple uncalled fouls on a play? Can a team challenge the same play twice for separate fouls? What if you have a play like the roughing call in KC? Would the Chiefs challenge the roughing foul, followed by the Patriots challenging for a DPI? Maybe followed by the Chiefs looking for a hold?
 

PaulinMyrBch

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Booth in the Saints game should have just got in the ear of the referee and said "throw a flag and get the crew together and see if anybody saw what we're looking at up here". Let the on-field guys get together and see if any of the officials who aren't point person on that part of the field would have enough to say to make that play PI or targeting. I'm not a fan of making judgement calls reviewable. Dudes on the field just need to do their job better.
 

j44thor

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I don't think they should be allowed to challenge say hand fighting and ask for it to be a PI call. I do think something like, did the DB make contact before the ball arrived and the only reason the ref didn't throw the flag was because he thought otherwise or did he make zero contact but was called for PI should be challengeable.

I would hate to see holding challenges, not because I don't think there is some merit but because Joe Public would be calling for a challenge every time an OL has their hands outside the frame even though that isn't technically holding. The general public understanding of holding is not close to the actual rule book and the way the game is called.
 

lexrageorge

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I would prefer that judgment calls be kept as they are. However, if they are going to do it, make it a "judgment challenge" rule:

- Each team gets one judgment challenge per game. Doesn't matter if it's correct or not. Just one. No penalty or removed timeout.

- Replay officials review the play at game speed. No super slo-mo that takes years to analyze with a million rules to parse to determine if the contact was allowable or not.

- If there is conclusive proof that the judgment call (or non-call) on the field was wrong, then correct the call. If inconclusive in any way, the call stands.

The "every call must be corrected by replay" purists will hate it, but that's a feature, not a bug.
 

Saints Rest

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Booth in the Saints game should have just got in the ear of the referee and said "throw a flag and get the crew together and see if anybody saw what we're looking at up here". Let the on-field guys get together and see if any of the officials who aren't point person on that part of the field would have enough to say to make that play PI or targeting. I'm not a fan of making judgement calls reviewable. Dudes on the field just need to do their job better.
This is basically what I was thinking. Add an official in the booth, who can watch the game on TV (not necessarily broadcast view, but maybe he/she has access to a few cameras). Let this person be in live communication to the referees in real time. Let this person be able to throw a virtual flag in real time in the ear of the referee. No reviews.
This basically gives a second ( or in some cases, third or 4th) set of eyes to a play. I would imagine that many penalties are missed simply due to the ref on the filed having his/her view blocked, impaired, or otherwise distracted (e.g. for the latter, imagine a catch on the sideline such that the ref on the field is concentrating on the catch or the feet, and thus totally misses a facemask).
 

j44thor

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- Replay officials review the play at game speed. No super slo-mo that takes years to analyze with a million rules to parse to determine if the contact was allowable or not.
Definitely like the real time speed only for judgement calls. If it isn't obvious in real-time then let the play stand. This would also keep the review time to a very brief stoppage. Might even limit the # of times they can watch said play.
 

Awesome Fossum

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I like the game speed suggestion. My vote is to drop challenges entirely and just put hook up the crew to referees in a booth who can correct obvious mistakes as they go. No running over to a monitor; if something needs to be changed, the refs can be told of the change to make. If the ref feels like they need help, they can make an initial call and then ask for it. Correcting the obvious calls correct and keeping the game moving should be the priorities, and I think the NFL is failing on both fronts to varying degrees.
 

pappymojo

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Leave it to the NFL to take a problem of their own creation, propose a complicated solution that has obvious problems, stand back as the proposal gets picked apart and then throw up their hands and say 'welp, we tried' without actually doing anything to fix the original problem. I guess it's better than actually making a bad situation worse. Still, not as good as fixing an obvious problem with a simple solution.
 

j44thor

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I like the game speed suggestion. My vote is to drop challenges entirely and just put hook up the crew to referees in a booth who can correct obvious mistakes as they go. No running over to a monitor; if something needs to be changed, the refs can be told of the change to make. If the ref feels like they need help, they can make an initial call and then ask for it. Correcting the obvious calls correct and keeping the game moving should be the priorities, and I think the NFL is failing on both fronts to varying degrees.
You expect them to add more refs (costs) to every single game every week??? When the current solution is one person does the job for all the games.
 

BigJimEd

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You expect them to add more refs (costs) to every single game every week??? When the current solution is one person does the job for all the games.
Next thing you know, they will be asking for full-time refs. Think this league is made of money?
 

NortheasternPJ

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I am 100% in on challenging penalties as i think that's not a major issue. I'm 100% against challenging non-calls to get a penalty flag, that's just opening up Pandora's Box. There's so many plays where there are non-called penalties, you'll enter a territory where huge plays at the end of the game will be challenged hoping to get a DPI or holding. The flow of the game already sucks, that'd make it worse.
 

j44thor

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I am 100% in on challenging penalties as i think that's not a major issue. I'm 100% against challenging non-calls to get a penalty flag, that's just opening up Pandora's Box. There's so many plays where there are non-called penalties, you'll enter a territory where huge plays at the end of the game will be challenged hoping to get a DPI or holding. The flow of the game already sucks, that'd make it worse.
So your response to Sean Payton is LOL too bad so sad? I think any change to challenging penalties has to take that circumstance into consideration. If 65K people see a penalty that doesn't get called that is much worse than a maybe, maybe not penalty getting called.
 

snowmanny

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If the NO/LAR play had happened in college it would have been called in from above as a penalty for helmet to helmet, correct? Or no?
 

PedroKsBambino

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trs

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I like the game speed suggestion. My vote is to drop challenges entirely and just put hook up the crew to referees in a booth who can correct obvious mistakes as they go. No running over to a monitor; if something needs to be changed, the refs can be told of the change to make. If the ref feels like they need help, they can make an initial call and then ask for it. Correcting the obvious calls correct and keeping the game moving should be the priorities, and I think the NFL is failing on both fronts to varying degrees.
This is more or less similar to the VAR system used in some soccer leagues, including in Spain where I live. While the system is far from perfect, it is improving, and very rarely now does the ref on the field go racing off the field to check an off-side call, handball, goal at a monitor. For the most part he just pauses play at the next available break in action and listens for any potential change to the call made on the field.

In most cases, this includes "judgement" calls such as when to assess a yellow/red card or even penalties, which as many of you know here are also judgement calls. Given that American football has natural breaks in the action anyway, it would seem like this would be rather easy to implement, just have the ref stand over the ball if they get buzzed (similar to what they do during substitutions) from upstairs that they need some time.

Lastly, what about making a list of "judgment calls" that can be reviewed and rather than have a special "judgement challenge," just have the coach challenge the spot of the ball, which is already allowed. If the coach thinks a penalty should have been called, well then technically the spotting of the ball is incorrect, and of course vice-versa, if a penalty was called that perhaps should not have been, you can re-spot the ball after eliminating the penalty. It just seems odd that upon looking at a replay to see whether two feet were in-bounds or if a "football motion" was made (judgement call already), refs have to ignore the obvious face-mask or grab that occurred beforehand, essentially negating the importance of the actions taken afterwards.
 

simplyeric

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Maybe there’s a way to limit it to ‘path of the ball’ penalties, called or left uncalled.
That would exclude holding against the pass rush, it would including holding at run blocking (or that type of holding could be excluded too). It would only include downfield contact if the ball goes to that receiver later in that play, and of course it would include PI.
Face masks maybe always on the table?
Edit:
I like making them ‘challenging the spot’ items. Also it should be clear that if a team challenges, the refs are allowed to look at other factors and potential other offsetting panelties, again within a ‘path of the ball’ stabdard.
 
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Awesome Fossum

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I am 100% in on challenging penalties as i think that's not a major issue. I'm 100% against challenging non-calls to get a penalty flag, that's just opening up Pandora's Box. There's so many plays where there are non-called penalties, you'll enter a territory where huge plays at the end of the game will be challenged hoping to get a DPI or holding. The flow of the game already sucks, that'd make it worse.
When the CFL made everything reviewable, this is exactly what happened. Teams would find an illegal contact or something on the backside of a play and were constantly challenging (and winning) non-calls. It was absolutely brutal to watch and the league had to make changes midseason.

Given that American football has natural breaks in the action anyway, it would seem like this would be rather easy to implement, just have the ref stand over the ball if they get buzzed (similar to what they do during substitutions) from upstairs that they need some time.
Exactly. And that Robert Woods catch in the Super Bowl is a perfect example. Rather than the Rams running to the ball and getting the snap off OR the Patriots challenging and us all spending five minutes of our lives watching the slow-motion replays, the ref could have stood over the ball for ten extra seconds, gotten a yes or no vote from the booth, and we could have played on.
 

AB in DC

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Another comp would be in baseball, where a manager can sort of ask the umpires to huddle together to make sure they all agree on the call. Add an option for the head ref to call upstairs on his own volition and I think this could work.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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When the CFL made everything reviewable, this is exactly what happened. Teams would find an illegal contact or something on the backside of a play and were constantly challenging (and winning) non-calls. It was absolutely brutal to watch and the league had to make changes midseason.
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I've admittedly never watched a CFL game. Do they have unlimited challenges?

I don't see the issue on what's challenged if you still limit it to 2, 3 if you get the first two correct. If you want p risk it on a non-call, well, knock yourself out and roll the dice. I'm not sure how it adds delay.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Another comp would be in baseball, where a manager can sort of ask the umpires to huddle together to make sure they all agree on the call. Add an option for the head ref to call upstairs on his own volition and I think this could work.
I think the simplest solution would be as follows:

1) Coaches can challenge actually-called penalties like any other challenge. This would address the issue of terrible PI calls totally changing the outcome of a game. (In practice, I doubt more borderline calls like holding calls would be challenged very much since, like challenging the spot of the ball, it's generally going to be pretty hard to get one of those calls overturned.)

2) For non-calls, or for penalties in the last two minutes, you have booth reviews no different than booth reviews currently operate, only now the booth operator is looking for obvious missed calls and obviously incorrect penalties as well. Will some calls still get missed or called incorrectly? Obviously. But this would prevent the NFCCG scenario where literally everyone other than the guy who didn't throw the flag knew the call was missed and nothing could be done about it.
 

geoduck no quahog

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...There will be no such thing as a walk-off win in a world where fouls are challengable. Super Bowl XXXVI, Super Bowl LI, and last week's AFC title game would all have ended very differently, with a Referee looking into a tablet and then announcing to the world that the game was over several minutes after the play. The other team would have no incentive NOT to challenge a game-winning play for any foul they could imagine.
Got no dog in this fight...but wouldn't the booth still be in charge for last 2 minutes? Difference being in this case it would be the booth's call whether or not to review (for example) that PI/Head-to-Head.
 

mwonow

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On reflection, I'd be okay with no expansion of coach-initiated or booth-initiated replay. Much of the energy behind the topic comes from a non-call in the NFC playoff game. But - there's already a rule (actually, two) to cover the situation; the ref just froze instead of throwing a flag.

Better refs are clearly the #1 option. Failing that, as per baseball, if one ref misses a call and another sees it - or vice versa - why not let the refs huddle, and if warranted (as per AB in DC) call to the booth for an opinion? Getting the calls right is important, but not to the detriment of actually watching/playing/coaching the game.
 

normstalls

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https://www.thescore.com/nfl/news/1726421/chiefs-to-propose-overtime-rule-change-giving-each-team-possession

The Kansas City Chiefs are still feeling the effects of their AFC Championship Game loss.

Kansas City lost the contest to the New England Patriots in overtime without getting an offensive possession in the extra frame. The Patriots won the coin toss and marched the length of the field for the deciding touchdown.

As a result, the Chiefs will submit a proposal to change the overtime rules.
This made me LOL. Pats are in everyone's head. I love it.
 

soxhop411

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NFL going to look into using a sky judge.

INDIANAPOLIS -- The NFL competition committee left the scouting combine this week with a mandate to study and develop the concept of adding a "sky judge" to officiating crews, league executive vice president Troy Vincent said Friday.

There are many questions yet to be answered about the role and function of what would amount to an eighth member of the crew, and support among ownership and committee members is unclear. But the committee agreed to take on the analysis at the urging of coaches who want to minimize chances of clear and obvious mistakes going uncorrected.

The impetus, Vincent acknowledged, was a missed pass interference call that should have been called against Los Angeles Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship Game.
New York Giants co-owner John Mara, one of the committee members, said he didn't think there would be enough support among owners but added: "That could change. I'm not saying it's impossible."

A sky judge, used in the Canadian Football League, would sit in the press box and be authorized to assist officials with calls on the field.

Vincent said the authority and viability of an NFL sky judge would need to be hashed out along three major lines:

Whether it would participate in the entire game or, perhaps, the last few minutes of each half. The type of calls it would be eligible to influence. (Vincent said that pass interference and player safety rules would be a starting point). If there are enough qualified candidates, currently outside the league, to hire into the jobs. Vincent and the committee will meet later this month in preparation for the March 24-27 owners meetings in Phoenix. It's possible the committee will be prepared to make a recommendation for those meetings, but in recent years, discussions on major rule changes have been extended to spring meetings at the end of May.

The committee could determine that the league is not equipped, either from a logistical or philosophical standpoint, to handle the addition of a sky judge, Vincent said. But with so many of its coaches advocating for additional ways to avoid major mistakes, the committee is obligated to consider it.
http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/26112714/nfl-considers-adding-sky-judge-game-crews
 

tims4wins

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Sounds like the overtime rule is in the Chiefs head more than anything. Wouldn't have mattered who they were playing, although they most likely beat anyone else.
The Chiefs were clearly concerned about the OT rule since they proposed the change after Super Bowl LI... oh wait, they didn't propose shit then.
 

snowmanny

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What gets me is that Belichick has voiced that OT shouldn’t be sudden death, it should just be more football.


Of course he doesn’t propose rule changes because everyone will think he’s trying to pull a fast one.
 

tims4wins

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The 3 guys who are mentioned in the same sentence as Brady for this era are Manning, Brees, and Rodgers, right? All 3 have lost playoff OT games after turning the ball over in OT (Brees and Manning by pick, Rodgers by a fumble by someone else). Brees and Manning both threw their picks at home.

Meanwhile Tom Brady has played 3 OT playoff games ever, and has driven his team for 2 TDs and a field goal (and would have scored a TD if it was necessary vs. the Raiders in 2001).

If it was so easy to score, maybe these other HoF QBs would have scored.
 

tims4wins

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I can't wait until the Pats are the first team to win in OT after the other team scores a TD on their first possession
 

djbayko

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Jesus Christ. Maybe let someone else carry that torch for optics if nothing else? You can show these people stats all day that show the outcome is damn close to 50/50 and it won't matter. And it's completely lost on everyone that the rule book is exactly the same for both teams before they step onto the field.

I kind of hope they do change the overtime rules. Then it will be something else next year. By the time Brady and Belichick retire, I want every rule in the book to be named after a Patriots player or widely known to be in place because of our team.
 

splendid splinter

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I can't wait until the Pats are the first team to win in OT after the other team scores a TD on their first possession
Yes, people would complain about how unfair it was that Brady and the Pats were in 4 down territory the entire drive. This proposal is basically the college rule, where the team winning the toss always chooses to defend because they get a chance to respond and they get a VERY important thing - information about what they need to do to win or extend OT. Pro OTs are won by the team winning the toss and going first about 53% of the time. College OTs are won by the team winning the toss and going second about 55% of the time. The Chiefs proposal would further tilt the odds in favor of the team winning the toss, it would just change the order of possessions.
 

Bowhemian

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Isn’t there a rule requiring NFL teams to put players on the field to try to stop the other team from advancing the ball? I think it’s callled a “defense” or something like that.
So you lost the OT coin toss and don’t want to lose? Play some fucking defense
 

Al Zarilla

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Isn’t there a rule requiring NFL teams to put players on the field to try to stop the other team from advancing the ball? I think it’s callled a “defense” or something like that.
So you lost the OT coin toss and don’t want to lose? Play some fucking defense
I know. The Patriots couldn’t do shit on first and second down in OT against the Chiefs. Maybe in overtime, you only get three downs. The ball should get into the hands of each team at least once or twice that way. Works in Canada. Oops, just read the CFL has an equal number of possessions rule for overtime. Got a feeling the NFL may not be done changing the overtime protocol.

It was kind of, or very apropos that the Chiefs with their shitty defense couldn’t stop us in overtime.
 

snowmanny

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I seriously don't know why this is so hard. Play. Ten. Minutes. Of. Football. In the playoffs the second OT can be sudden death.