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New NFL Rules

ESPN's John Clayton is reporting that several rule changes for the upcoming season have passed including:

  • Referees will no longer call force-outs on catches by receivers.  They will be forced to have 2 feet, one knee, etc... in bounds.
  • Similar to the rule on offense, a member of the defense will be allowed to wear a communication device inside the helmet. (as BigBlueShoe mgrex03 reported earlier)
  • Field Goals are now reviewable by the instant replay system.
  • Teams can now defer the decision on whether to kickoff or receive until the 2nd half.
  • Elimination of the 5 yard facemask penalty.  I didn't see this one coming, but I like it.  Facemask penalties will now rightly be called only when there is an attempt to grab, pull, or twist the facemask (the 15-yard variety).

The rules regarding players hair covering name plates or jersey numbers has been tabled until the May meeting.  Another proposal involving reseeding the playoffs allowing wild card teams to host a playoff game has also been tabled.

Update [2008-4-2 15:3:41 by the21eraser]: - Oops... Note to self: Don't write stories when you get a 20 minute lunch break.