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The NFL Catch Rule May Finally Be Getting Its Much Needed Overhaul

Finally, sweet relief.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

According to Mark Maske of The Washington Post, we may finally get some relief to the confusing nature of what qualifies as a catch in the NFL.

NFL fans seem to always be scratching their head as to why certain plays haven’t been counted as catches, and it has spurred commissioner Roger Goodell into voicing his support to revisit and fix the rule.

Maske spoke with NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent about the expected upcoming changes coming to the catch rule.

According to Vincent, the NFL’s competition committee did a complete evaluation of the rule, which currently requires that a player gains possession and maintains that possession with no movement of the ball throughout the process of hitting the ground.

“Slight movement of the ball, it looks like we’ll reverse that,” Vincent told Maske. “Going to the ground, it looks like that’s going to be eliminated. And we’ll go back to the old replay standard of reverse the call on the field only when it’s indisputable.”

Instead, it sounds like they’re just going to keep things simple. Vincent said that the revision of the rule will only require that “a receiver have control of the football, and any slight movement of the football in the receiver’s hands detected via replay review would not result in an incompletion.”

Per Maske, “The modifications could be finalized Tuesday [March 20] by the committee and presented to the owners of the 32 teams next week in Orlando at the NFL’s annual meeting, according to Vincent.”

The league meetings will take place from Sunday, March 25 to Wednesday, March 28. For the catch rule and any other revisions to pass, 24 of the 32 (75%) NFL owners must vote for it, or they could defer to the competition committee.

While the owners will meet in Florida next week, the competition committee is already there, meeting this week. Per Maske, they are scheduled to announce their rules proposals this Friday.