2019 NFL: Rule Changes

nighthob

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Looks like there may be a rule change to the rule change
We apologise for the fault in the rules. Those responsible have been sacked. ...

We apologize again for the fault in the change to the existing rule. Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked have been sacked.
 

Silverdude2167

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"Clear and Obvious Visual Evidence" that's going to go great. I am sure everyone is going to agree as to what that is.
 

tims4wins

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"Clear and Obvious Visual Evidence" that's going to go great. I am sure everyone is going to agree as to what that is.
Right. If this is the standard, then I would adapt the PI replay review rule to be that the ref has to view it at full speed, and can only review each angle once. If he doesn't see a foul at full speed with one viewing per angle, then it is not clear and obvious. This would probably eliminate stupid shit like the play before the Gilmore pick being reviewed and called as pass interference.
 

loshjott

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Nothing good is going to come of this. Nothing. Imagine this rule in effect for the Butler play. At the very least it would have sucked the emotion out of the play if it's followed by 5 min under the hood. And at worst....well, we won't go there. He did contact the body before making the catch. Yes, he was going for the ball, but "clear and obvious visual evidence" and all...
 

NortheasternPJ

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"Clear and Obvious Visual Evidence" that's going to go great. I am sure everyone is going to agree as to what that is.
"Upon review, it feels like a pass interference because was pretty obvious and clear. The Patriots do not have a touchdown on the interception, the Jets now have 1st and 10 at the 5 yard line. First and goal!"
 

Fred in Lynn

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The missed PI call in the NO-LAR game was awful, but is going to be dwarfed by the mess this change will bring. It’s still a game of knowledgeable humans making informed judgments. You can review a toe over a line and make an objective determination. It’s not ambiguous, or if it is it’s because of limitations in the data (e.g., good camera angles and clear lines of observation). PI under review is still subjective, just on an extended time scale. Hate this.
 

Harry Hooper

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Of course, one of these plays will never come up with 2:02 seconds on the clock.
 

Mystic Merlin

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Isn’t that already the standard of review for all replays?

From the 2018 Rulebook:


ARTICLE 3. REPLAY REVIEWS
All Replay Reviews will be conducted by a designated member of the Officiating department at the League office. During the review of on-field rulings other than player disqualifications, the designee shall consult with the Referee, who will have access to a hand-held, field-level device. A decision will be reversed only when there is clear and obvious visual evidence available that warrants the change. (...)’
 

CFB_Rules

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Six weeks from today, the NFL will play it's first scheduled preseason game with the new replay rules for OPI/DPI. Thus far, it still looks like the league doesn't know exactly what they want to do. Things I've heard:

A replay official told me that his/her plan was to just grade the play live like they would film. If they would downgrade the official in film review for the call or non-call, then they will buzz to change the call. If the play looks marginal (read: possibly wrong but not worthy of a downgrade), let it go. This seems to me like the most reasonable course, but has been severely contradicted by other people and the NFL since I had this conversation a few weeks ago.

I've talked to several NFL referees (white hats) with various reactions. Some think it's a complete joke and will hurt the game, others are on a wait and see basis. Nobody was for it. Interestingly, they also say that the NFL coaches have told them that they hate it (with a few vocal exceptions). The coaches want the play fixed, but they don't want the responsibility of having to make a decision on challenges.

Lastly...some think that there are those in the league who intentionally want this to be a disaster. They are thinking along the lines of "Okay, you went around the normal process (competition committee) to get these changes in, be careful what you wish for". It doesn't seem plausible to me because you have to think that would cost Riveron his job, but then you see plays like this:


Here is a play where a TD is scored and DPI is called. When you look at the replay it's pretty clear that there is OPI and no DPI. The league is going to split the difference and call both? Talk about the worst of both worlds, you make the officials look incompetent AND you screw up the result of the play.
 

Cotillion

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Six weeks from today, the NFL will play it's first scheduled preseason game with the new replay rules for OPI/DPI. Thus far, it still looks like the league doesn't know exactly what they want to do. Things I've heard:

A replay official told me that his/her plan was to just grade the play live like they would film. If they would downgrade the official in film review for the call or non-call, then they will buzz to change the call. If the play looks marginal (read: possibly wrong but not worthy of a downgrade), let it go. This seems to me like the most reasonable course, but has been severely contradicted by other people and the NFL since I had this conversation a few weeks ago.

I've talked to several NFL referees (white hats) with various reactions. Some think it's a complete joke and will hurt the game, others are on a wait and see basis. Nobody was for it. Interestingly, they also say that the NFL coaches have told them that they hate it (with a few vocal exceptions). The coaches want the play fixed, but they don't want the responsibility of having to make a decision on challenges.

Lastly...some think that there are those in the league who intentionally want this to be a disaster. They are thinking along the lines of "Okay, you went around the normal process (competition committee) to get these changes in, be careful what you wish for". It doesn't seem plausible to me because you have to think that would cost Riveron his job, but then you see plays like this:


Here is a play where a TD is scored and DPI is called. When you look at the replay it's pretty clear that there is OPI and no DPI. The league is going to split the difference and call both? Talk about the worst of both worlds, you make the officials look incompetent AND you screw up the result of the play.
This will never be ruled consistently.

Also, the process they are going about implementing shows that they really aren't even going to try to consistently rule it.

The fact that Riveron is using that way to rule "offsetting PI" goes to show that this is going to be like their version of the "embellishment" penalty in hockey. Only called to offset a bad penalty, but not to actually rectify the bad penalty call.

Good thing Gronk retired or we'd seen several of his TD's and catches negated by offsetting OPI review calls.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Six weeks from today, the NFL will play it's first scheduled preseason game with the new replay rules for OPI/DPI. Thus far, it still looks like the league doesn't know exactly what they want to do. Things I've heard:

A replay official told me that his/her plan was to just grade the play live like they would film. If they would downgrade the official in film review for the call or non-call, then they will buzz to change the call. If the play looks marginal (read: possibly wrong but not worthy of a downgrade), let it go. This seems to me like the most reasonable course, but has been severely contradicted by other people and the NFL since I had this conversation a few weeks ago.

I've talked to several NFL referees (white hats) with various reactions. Some think it's a complete joke and will hurt the game, others are on a wait and see basis. Nobody was for it. Interestingly, they also say that the NFL coaches have told them that they hate it (with a few vocal exceptions). The coaches want the play fixed, but they don't want the responsibility of having to make a decision on challenges.

Lastly...some think that there are those in the league who intentionally want this to be a disaster. They are thinking along the lines of "Okay, you went around the normal process (competition committee) to get these changes in, be careful what you wish for". It doesn't seem plausible to me because you have to think that would cost Riveron his job, but then you see plays like this:


Here is a play where a TD is scored and DPI is called. When you look at the replay it's pretty clear that there is OPI and no DPI. The league is going to split the difference and call both? Talk about the worst of both worlds, you make the officials look incompetent AND you screw up the result of the play.
The ruling should be. No DPI overturned to OPI and the back judge fired on the spot. How did he ever make that call? Did he get confused on who was who?
 

Cotillion

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We’re not going to talk about what constituted it, because what happens here is the ruling on the field was offensive pass interference,” Riveron said. “And remember in replay, we start replay with the premise on the field that the call is correct. And unless we have clear and obvious visual evidence to overturn the ruling on the field, we will not do that. In this situation, there was not clear and obvious visual evidence to overturn it, so we let the ruling on the field stand.”

The TV copy of the play shows no interference as the ball arrives. It’s possible, however, that the push came earlier in what appeared to be a flag route, with the receiver gained separation by giving the defender a shove that the officials saw. Indeed, one of the broadcast angles shows that the official had reached for the flag and begun to throw it out before

It’s also possible that the referee explained this to Riveron, who was unable to pinpoint the moment of offensive pass interference based on the available TV angles.

If that’s the case, why wouldn’t Riveron just say that? It’s possible that he doesn’t want to highlight the reality that the replay process has an inherent flaw. When it comes to pass interference, plenty of pushing and shoving and jostling will happen while the ball is in the air, but before it — or the cameras — arrive. Absent cameras trained to all eligible receivers at all times, there will be situations where instances of called and uncalled interference will be unreviewable, because it will have happened away from the view of the sole device for allowing replay review.
This is going to be immensely frustrating. I wasn't even thinking of the "no camera on the part of the play that the ref through the flag for" aspect.
 

Harry Hooper

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Watching a few games, I thought I saw several completions made after uncalled OPI infractions that could have been challenged by the defense, but were not.
 

InstaFace

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That was raised in the preseason gamethread, but I agree with those quoted saying it's a bad rule. If nothing else, the first time an OL lets a rusher coming from behind go and nail his QB rather than blocking him, it's going to raise holy hell (if it ever happens at all). A rule meant to protect some players has now endangered QBs.

There needs to be some exception to the QB in the pocket, or some safe-harbor provision about them facing each other (i.e. that it's not "blindside").
 

CFB_Rules

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That was raised in the preseason gamethread, but I agree with those quoted saying it's a bad rule. If nothing else, the first time an OL lets a rusher coming from behind go and nail his QB rather than blocking him, it's going to raise holy hell (if it ever happens at all). A rule meant to protect some players has now endangered QBs.

There needs to be some exception to the QB in the pocket, or some safe-harbor provision about them facing each other (i.e. that it's not "blindside").
They have an exception for close-line play...but it only extends 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage. This block occurred 5 yards. Interestingly, the rule does not actually require the hit to be from the blind side despite being called the "blindside block rule" (The new NCAA rule this year for similar activity does require the hit to be from the blind side).

Still, I'm not sold on this being forcible contact. If you are hit forcibly by an NFL player from the blind side (i.e. you don't know it's coming and can't protect yourself, which is what the rule is theoretically for) I would expect you to be on your ass.
 

InstaFace

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That's funny. I'd expect that some scenarios where this would come into effect - say, a stretch play where a LB is chasing a runner laterally near the LOS and a WR comes back from downfield to block a pursuer - where it occurs within 3 yards of the LOS but really "is" a blindside block, in the sense that it came from an unexpected direction without the LB having an opportunity to protect himself.

What a poorly-designed rule. How many lawyers do they have working on this again? Christ, these people couldn't make breakfast without burning the kitchen down.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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That's funny. I'd expect that some scenarios where this would come into effect - say, a stretch play where a LB is chasing a runner laterally near the LOS and a WR comes back from downfield to block a pursuer - where it occurs within 3 yards of the LOS but really "is" a blindside block, in the sense that it came from an unexpected direction without the LB having an opportunity to protect himself.

What a poorly-designed rule. How many lawyers do they have working on this again? Christ, these people couldn't make breakfast without burning the kitchen down.
Nah, they wouldn't get past deciding which meal to make and how to prepare it.
 

Cotillion

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This is very reassuring...

“For the Hail Mary, there’s a lot of things that could happen that’s allowed that everyone knows when there’s Hail Mary for example there’s some contact allowed that generally would not be allowed when it’s just one receiver and one defensive back on a normal pass play situation,” Riveron explained. “Everyone understands what the philosophy on that is. We got input from the coaches, the General Managers, presidents, players, legends, officials, what we came back with on the final way of how we’re going to write this rule, we simply put in there that if that play goes to replay by either a coach’s challenge or it’s stopped inside of two minutes, it will be reviewed in replay under the same philosophies that is being allowed to be played on the field. We will not apply a different standard when reviewing that play in replay as opposed to how it’s officiated and what is allowable on the field. The same way we’re allowing the players to do certain things when there’s a Hail Mary involved, it’ll be reviewed in replay the same way.” [/quote\

“There were so many variables and we didn’t want to limit the players per se,” Riveron said. “So what is a Hail Mary? This might not be the scientific answer we’re all looking for, but I think overall everyone understands when we see it, what a Hail Mary is. Again, how do we define it? Outside the 30? One minute and 28 seconds? 35 yard line? Two defensive players? Four offensive players? Equal numbers of players? How much pushing? How much shoving? It’s one of those things you know it when you see it and that’s a Hail Mary. When something goes beyond the point of what’s allowable, we will all agree on it. Or maybe we won’t. For the most part, everyone understands what’s allowed, what’s not allowed on a Hail Mary. It’s probably fortunate that we’re not putting this play into a box because it’s something when we see it, and when I say we I mean the football community from fans to coaches to players to officials, we’ll all agree that that’s a Hail Mary and we’ll understand what’s allowable and what’s not.”
Al Riveron folks... :eek:
 

Jed Zeppelin

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What the literal hell..."what we came back with on the final way of how we’re going to write this rule, we simply put in there that if that play goes to replay by either a coach’s challenge or it’s stopped inside of two minutes, it will be reviewed in replay under the same philosophies that is being allowed to be played on the field."

Also, audible guffaw on "Or maybe we won't."
 

JMDurron

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The rambling aside, is the concept of "we're not going to try to objectively define the term Hail Mary, we know it when we see it, and it's not going to be treated like a vanilla passing play" really that bad of an idea? Given what seems to happen half (at least) of the time when the NFL attempts to objectively define terms like "Catch", I'm not seeing much of a problem with the core message in Riveron's statement - "we know that the Hail Mary is a distinct situation with its own standards for WR-DB contact, we're not going to start treating them like standard 1-on-1 passing situations when reviewing them on replay, nor are we going to write some awkward/obscure definition of what, exactly a Hail Mary is, because we know it when we see it."

At the very least, I'd prefer that the league/officials admit up front that there is a different standard for this kind of play than for them to act like there isn't but then obviously enforce it during games as if it has that different standard, which I'd expect is what we'd see without any statement of this nature.
 

Harry Hooper

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They have an exception for close-line play...but it only extends 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage. This block occurred 5 yards. Interestingly, the rule does not actually require the hit to be from the blind side despite being called the "blindside block rule" (The new NCAA rule this year for similar activity does require the hit to be from the blind side).

Still, I'm not sold on this being forcible contact. If you are hit forcibly by an NFL player from the blind side (i.e. you don't know it's coming and can't protect yourself, which is what the rule is theoretically for) I would expect you to be on your ass.
What do you make of the "blindside block" foul called on Gunner last night?

 

Reverend

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The rambling aside, is the concept of "we're not going to try to objectively define the term Hail Mary, we know it when we see it, and it's not going to be treated like a vanilla passing play" really that bad of an idea? Given what seems to happen half (at least) of the time when the NFL attempts to objectively define terms like "Catch", I'm not seeing much of a problem with the core message in Riveron's statement - "we know that the Hail Mary is a distinct situation with its own standards for WR-DB contact, we're not going to start treating them like standard 1-on-1 passing situations when reviewing them on replay, nor are we going to write some awkward/obscure definition of what, exactly a Hail Mary is, because we know it when we see it."

At the very least, I'd prefer that the league/officials admit up front that there is a different standard for this kind of play than for them to act like there isn't but then obviously enforce it during games as if it has that different standard, which I'd expect is what we'd see without any statement of this nature.
Perhaps. But it’s stuff unusual and amusing to see a rare admission of how things actually work from the league that acts like officiating is an act of scientific rule application, as best seen in the NASA like precision of measurements for first down after a referee just eyeballs it.
 

CFB_Rules

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What do you make of the "blindside block" foul called on Gunner last night?

I don't even think it meets the technical definition of the rule, because it's easy to argue that the defensive player saw it coming and he initiated the contact (evidenced by the offensive player getting put on his backside). I can't imagine this is what the NFL wants. Certainly wouldn't be a foul in college, since that blindside block rule requires the block come from, you know, the blindside.
 
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CFB_Rules

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I don't even think it meets the technical definition of the rule, because it's easy to argue that the offensive player saw it coming and he initiated the contact (evidenced by the defender getting put on his backside). I can't imagine this is what the NFL wants. Certainly wouldn't be a foul in college, since that blindside block rule requires the block come from, you know, the blindside.
A note: this often happens with new rules. The officials will intentionally throw on basically everything in order to see how they are graded in games that don’t matter. That’s the easiest way for them to figure out what exactly the NFL wants before the grades/games DO count
 

Pxer

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Reiss said 9 out of the 56 challenges of pass interference in the preseason were successful. 16%.
 

Harry Hooper

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it's easy to argue that the offensive player saw it coming and he initiated the contact (evidenced by the defender getting put on his backside).
Sorry, I am having a little trouble following you here--who is "he" in "he initiated" part? The Patriot player was on offense and blocked the Giants defender onto his butt. The intent of the rule is to protect defenders from blindside blocks, yes? The penalty was called on the offensive player.

Upthread you posted:

If you are hit forcibly by an NFL player from the blind side (i.e. you don't know it's coming and can't protect yourself, which is what the rule is theoretically for) I would expect you to be on your ass.


Does the relationship to the LOS factor into whether this should have been a personal foul?
 

tims4wins

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Reiss said 9 out of the 56 challenges of pass interference in the preseason were successful. 16%.
I’d be curious on breakdown of offensive vs defensive, and also on breakdown of PI that was called on the field and overturned vs not called on the field and then flag thrown upon review.
 

CFB_Rules

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Sorry, I am having a little trouble following you here--who is "he" in "he initiated" part? The Patriot player was on offense and blocked the Giants defender onto his butt. The intent of the rule is to protect defenders from blindside blocks, yes? The penalty was called on the offensive player.

Upthread you posted:





Does the relationship to the LOS factor into whether this should have been a personal foul?
You are correct, I had my teams mixed up. Edited the post to clarify. The Giants player saw the block coming and initiated some of the contact with the Patriots player. The Patriots player had the Giants player lined up for a foul, but the Giants player was able to get his his head around and clearly knew the hit was coming.
 

CFB_Rules

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I’d be curious on breakdown of offensive vs defensive, and also on breakdown of PI that was called on the field and overturned vs not called on the field and then flag thrown upon review.
From football zebras through 3 weeks Link to article:

Category Reviews Reversal percent
Offensive pass interference called 0 / 4 0%
Defensive pass interference called 0 / 8 0%
Review to assess offensive pass interference 1 / 6 17%
Review to assess defensive pass interference 5 / 18 28%
 

tims4wins

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From football zebras through 3 weeks Link to article:

Category Reviews Reversal percent
Offensive pass interference called 0 / 4 0%
Defensive pass interference called 0 / 8 0%
Review to assess offensive pass interference 1 / 6 17%
Review to assess defensive pass interference 5 / 18 28%
Thanks super helpful. So 0/12 on when PI was called on the field and then challenged vs 6/24 when PI wasn’t called and the challenging team thought it was PI.