A ruling of whether a player’s momentum caused him to enter his end zone is not reviewable. Item 6. See 4-8-2-h and 14-4-9-Item 3-Exc. is first touched intentionally or is caught by an originally ineligible offensive player; or. A ball that is in player possession is out of bounds when the runner is out of bounds, or when the ball touches a boundary line or anything that is on or outside such line, except another player or an official. If a member of the kicking team is forced out of bounds, or goes out of bounds voluntarily, and does not attempt to return inbounds in a reasonable amount of time. Items to celebrate anniversaries or memorable events, or to honor or commemorate individuals, such as helmet decals, and arm bands and jersey patches on players’ uniforms, are prohibited unless approved in advance by the League office. The term uniform, as used in this policy, applies to every piece of equipment worn by a player, including helmet, shoulder pads, thigh pads, knee pads, and any other item of protective gear, and to every visible item of apparel, including but not limited to pants, jerseys, wristbands, gloves, stockings, shoes, visible undergarments, and accessories such as headwear worn under helmets and hand towels. Penalty: For illegal cut block: Loss of 15 yards and automatic first down. If a Loose Ball touches or crosses a goal line, the impetus is attributed to the team whose player passed, kicked, snapped, or fumbled the ball, unless an opponent: A Kick is intentionally striking the ball with the knee, lower leg, or foot. Tolerance of line widths is plus one-fourth inch. The Coach-to-Player system allows a member of the coaching staff in the bench area or the coaches’ booth to communicate to a designated offensive or defensive player with a speaker in his helmet. Blocking field goals or extra points just became more difficult. If it is a scrimmage down, the number of the next down and the line to gain is the same as for the down in which the fouls occurred. Out of necessity, the league decided in 1943 to let teams substitute players at will, Pro Football Hall of Fame historian Joe Horrigan said. Throughout the period on game-day that a player is visible to the stadium and television audience (including in pregame warm-ups, in the bench area, and during postgame interviews in the locker room or on the ﬁeld), players are prohibited from wearing, displaying, or otherwise conveying personal messages either in writing or illustration, unless such message has been approved in advance by the League office. Item 2. Wristbands, provided they are white or black only. Penalty: For illegal acts under Articles 1 through 6 above: Loss of 15 yards from team for whose supposed benefit foul was made. At the beginning of the third overtime period, the captain who lost the coin toss prior to the first overtime period shall have the first choice of the two privileges in, At the end of the first and third extra periods, etc., teams must change goals in accordance with, Each team is entitled to three timeouts during a half. If any foreign object(s) are deemed a safety hazard by the game officials, in addition to a yardage penalty, the player will be subject to ejection from the game, whether he uses the object or not. No more than six Team B players may be on the line of scrimmage on either side of the snapper at the snap. Penalty: For a palpably unfair act, see 12-3-4. If the ATC Spotter identifies a player for medical attention, the rules pertaining to Injury Timeouts in Article 3 and Article 4 (c) apply. A Pass Play begins with the snap and ends when a forward pass thrown from behind the line of scrimmage is caught by a player of either team or is incomplete. Note: Goal posts must be padded in a manner prescribed by the League. For a player to be on the field, both feet or a body part must touch the ground in the field of play. On a successful Try kick, the scoring team has the option to replay the down following enforcement of the penalty from the previous spot or the other Try spot. The areas bounded by goal lines and lines parallel to, and 70 feet 9 inches inbounds, from each sideline, are known as the Side Zones. See 13-1-1 for fouls by non- players between halves. (If either hand is on the back, it is a foul.). Players who have speakers in their helmets must be identified in the Communication System section of the Game Day Administration Report that is submitted to the Referee or a member of his crew no later than one hour and 30 minutes prior to kickoff. Dead Ball Fouls by Both Teams. Such towels also must be attached to or tucked into the front waist of the pants, and must be no longer than 6 by 8 inches (slightly larger size may be issued to quarterbacks, or may be folded to these limits for wearing in games). Item 4. The Senior Vice President of Officiating or his or her designee may review a decision by on-field officials to disqualify a player. It is a Touchdown if any part of the ball is on, above, or behind the opponent’s goal line while legally in possession of an inbounds player, provided it is not a touchback. The fair-catch kick line for the kicking team is the yard line through the most forward point from which the ball is kicked. In instances under these emergency procedures which require the Commissioner to reschedule a regular-season game, the Commissioner will make every effort to set the game for no later than two days after its originally scheduled date, and will attempt to schedule the game at its original site. OFFICIAL NFL PLAYING RULES 63 A.R. The snapper is offside if any part of his body is beyond the neutral zone. Any action that occurs during the down after a change of team possession is Not From Scrimmage. In the January 2014 NFC championship game, officials awarded possession to Seattle, even though replays clearly showed San Francisco’s NaVorro Bowman gaining possession first. Item 5. Note: Contact in close-line play is not a foul, unless it is direct and forcible, or prolonged. The Referee will be guided by the following principles: Penalty: For Roughing the Passer: Loss of 15 yards and an automatic first down; disqualification, if flagrant. Six such spots are commonly used: A violation is an infraction of a playing rule for which a penalty is not prescribed. It is a foul for roughing the holder if a defensive player forcibly contacts the holder of a place kick, unless the contact: Penalty: For roughing the holder: Loss of 15 yards from the previous spot (personal foul) and an automatic first down. The following blocking rules apply during a scrimmage kick down: During a scrimmage kick that crosses the line of scrimmage, and prior to the end of the kick, it is a foul if a kicking team player goes out of bounds voluntarily (without being contacted by a receiving team player) to avoid a block by a receiving team player. For exception for a missed field goal from beyond the 20-yard line, see, fair catch interference or interference with the opportunity to catch a kick (see, an illegal low block during a free kick, scrimmage kick, or after a change of possession (see, an illegal block in the back above the waist (see, Thrusts his hands forward above the frame of an opponent to forcibly contact him on the head, neck, or face; or. Offensive pass interference rules apply from the time the ball is snapped until the ball is touched. If an illegal substitute interferes with the play, it may be a palpably unfair act (see 12-3-4). During any timeout, including an intermission, all playing rules continue in effect. A Suspended Player is one who must be withdrawn, in accordance with Rule 5, for correction of illegal equipment (5-4). Illegal conduct by non-players (also exclusion for flagrant violations), i.e., player on field communicating other than to coach in prescribed area 13-1-1, team representatives using unsportsmanlike conduct during game or between halves or sitting on bench when not qualified 13-1-3, non-players going on field without permission (other than team attendants during a team timeout) 13-1-2, non-players moving along boundary lines (unless substitute warming up or coach in prescribed area) 13-1-5, Illegal touch of forward pass by an eligible receiver who became ineligible 8-1-8, Pass interference by Team B in its end zone and previous spot is inside its 2-yard line 8-5-4, Distance penalty enforced from a spot between goal lines carrying ball more than half the distance to either goal line 14-2-1, Pass interference by Team B in its end zone and previous spot is outside its 2-yard line 8-5-4, Excess timeout (withdrawal only when fourth timeout – also loss of five when fifth or more) 4-5-4, Player being disqualified, suspended (illegal equipment), or replaced 5-4-1. Whether a pass was illegally thrown. A Punt is a kick made by a player who drops the ball and kicks it before it strikes the ground. A defender may use his hands or arms only to defend or protect himself against impending contact caused by a receiver. During pregame team warm-ups, players may omit certain protective equipment at their option, except that helmets, shoulder pads, thigh pads, and knee pads must be worn. after losing contact with an opponent more than one yard beyond the line of scrimmage, he continues to move toward his opponent’s goal line. It is not meant to connote illegality under any public law or the rules or regulations of any other organization. If the ball, whether in player possession or loose, crosses the line of scrimmage, a forward pass is not permissible, regardless of whether the ball returns behind the line of scrimmage before the pass is thrown. A Tee is an approved device that is used to elevate the ball for a placekick during a kickoff. Player Out of Bounds. Item 1. The Referee has principal responsibility for enforcing these rules. The penalty for a False Start shall be enforced regardless of whether the snap is made or there is a reaction by the defense. For brevity, these are referred to as A’s 19 and B’s 49 or A19 and B49. Touching of a Kick. The Back Judge will time halftime. A change of possession includes, but is not limited to: A Timeout is any interval during which the Game Clock is stopped (4-4) and includes the intermission (4-1-2 and 4-1-3). Approved Glove Color. The adjacent goal line is known as its goal line. At the instant that a pass is caught, a Running Play begins. After the ball has been declared ready for play, it becomes a live ball when it is legally snapped or legally kicked (a free kick or fair catch kick). A player who has reported a change in his eligibility status to the Referee is permitted to return to a position indicated by the eligibility status of his number after: Penalty: If a player fails to notify the Referee of a change in his status when required, or an offensive player with an eligible number reports as ineligible and lines up outside the tackle box: Loss of five yards for illegal substitution. Field goals became easier because the ball now could be placed and kicked from a hash mark aligned with the goal post — a better angle for kickers than the previous location. A pass play ends and a running play begins at the instant that a pass is caught. In 1932, the NFL broke ranks on a few rules and appointed its own Rules Committee, charged with developing changes independent of the colleges; the league would publish its first independent rulebook before the end of the decade. Technical Terms are such terms that have a fixed and defined meaning throughout the Playing Rules. The following applies if there is a foul by Team B: Note: If the foul is for defensive pass interference, and it is declined, no distance penalty is enforced on the kickoff. Item 2. A down that starts with a snap is a Scrimmage Down (3-30). See 12-5-1. forcibly hitting his head or neck area with the helmet, facemask, forearm, or shoulder, even if the initial contact is lower than the player’s neck; lowering the head and making forcible contact with any part of the helmet against any part of the defensive player’s body; or, illegally launching into him. If Team A fouls before the first change of possession, the Try shall be deemed to have failed. Coaches’ challenges will not be allowed. These, and any other specified markings, must be in white, and there shall be no exceptions without the authorization of the Commissioner. The history and evolution of NFL rules changes is, at its core, a story about the league’s willingness to make any change it believes will benefit the game, its players or its fans as long as it also preserves the game’s integrity. His shoestring catch won the game in the closing seconds in a play later dubbed “The Immaculate Reception.” This play was a jumping-off point for further exploration of the rule, but it didn’t cause an immediate change: Double-touch forward passes didn’t become legal until 1978. Item 7. If it occurs in the fouling team’s end zone, the ball will be placed at the one-yard line, or half the distance to the goal line from the previous spot, whichever is more beneficial to the offense. The opportunity to possess applies only during kicking plays. The NFL's familiar hand signals help fans better understand the game. If there is any question whether contact is incidental, the ruling shall be no interference. Players from both teams grab their opponents’ facemasks at will. Part of a broad package designed to rev up the game, the change was made to produce more exciting returns. Handing the ball is transferring player possession from one teammate to another without passing or kicking it. Dead Ball Foul by Team A. running, diving into, or throwing the body against or on any player on the ground either before or after the ball is dead; throwing the runner to the ground after the ball is dead; unnecessarily running, diving into, cutting, or throwing the body against or on a player who (1) is out of the play or (2) should not have reasonably anticipated such contact by an opponent, before or after the ball is dead; a kicker/punter, who is standing still or fading backward after the ball has been kicked, is out of the play and must not be unnecessarily contacted by the receiving team through the end of the down or until he assumes a distinctly defensive position. PHOENIX -- The NFL has announced which rules, bylaw and resolution proposals passed following Tuesday's vote at the Arizona Biltmore. The closer to the center the marks got, the less reluctant offenses became to design plays toward the sidelines, increasing their play-calling options and excitement for fans. It is also used to indicate pertinent references to other rules. If he does not, and is on the field of play or end zone at the time of a legal snap, he is an illegal substitute. Note: If the defensive team commits a foul during an unsuccessful Try, the offensive team may decline the distance penalty, and the down is replayed from the previous spot. Each team will make 12 primary and 12 backup balls available for testing by the Referee no later than two hours and 30 minutes prior to the starting time of the game to meet League requirements. Note: An intentional fumble that causes the ball to go forward is a forward pass and may be illegal (8-1-1-Pen. Timeouts shall be 30 seconds in length when the designated number of television commercials have been exhausted in a quarter, if it is a second charged team timeout in the same dead-ball period, or when the Referee so indicates. Failure to do so is an Illegal Shift. If the ball, while in possession of a player who is inbounds, is declared out of bounds because of touching anything that is out of bounds, the out-of-bounds spot is the yard line through the forward point of the ball at the instant of such touching. "You look and you say, ‘Well, the [Competition] Committee is all powerful.’ Not true. The league wanted to boost the offense, which defenses stifled by stacking defenders on the wide side of the field and using the sideline as a 12th defender on the short side by forcing the runner out of bounds. If the offense commits a foul beyond the line of scrimmage and the Basic Spot is behind the line of scrimmage, enforcement is from the previous spot. All kicking team players must be inbounds and behind the ball when it is kicked, except: the kicker may be beyond the line, provided that his kicking foot is not beyond the line. In that year, the NFL moved hash marks to their present-day location: 70 feet, 9 inches (about 23.5 yards) from the sidelines, exactly in line with the goal posts. A forward pass is complete (by the offense) or intercepted (by the defense) in the field of play, at the sideline, or in the end zone if a player, who is inbounds: Any forward pass (legal or illegal) is incomplete and the ball is dead immediately if the pass strikes the ground or goes out of bounds. At this time, the Referee will notify the head coach that any further use of this tactic will result in a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. Illegal Block. Note: Various actions involving a palpably unfair act may arise during a game. And it worked: Kickoff return rates immediately jumped from 75 to 92 percent. Only the Replay Official or the Senior Vice President of Officiating or his or her designee may initiate a review of a play: Such plays may be reviewed regardless of whether a foul is committed on the play that, if accepted, would negate the on-field ruling. Some evolve over time. The Forward Progress of a runner or airborne receiver is the point at which his advance toward his opponent’s goal ends and is the spot at which the ball is declared dead by rule, irrespective of the runner or receiver being pushed or carried backward by an opponent. See 8-3-1-Item 1 for exception for an ineligible offensive player. Beyond the five-yard zone, if the player who receives the snap remains in the pocket with the ball, a defender cannot initiate contact with a receiver who is attempting to evade him. Except for fouls that are committed in an attempt to block the kick (such as running into or roughing the kicker, defensive holding (pull-and-shoot), leverage, leaping, and pushing teammate(s) into the offensive formation), if the receiving team commits a foul during a kick that crosses the line of scrimmage, the penalty for its infraction will be enforced as if it had been in possession of the ball at the time the foul occurred (a post-possession foul), provided that the receiving team does not lose possession of the ball at any time during the down. Item 2. See. NFL consultant and statistical guru Hugh “Shorty” Ray — enshrined in the Hall of Fame for his contributions to officiating and rule-making — reinforced this notion. In case of rain or a wet, muddy, or slippery field, a playable ball shall be used at the request of the offensive team’s center. either team calls a charged team timeout; the injury is the result of a foul by an opponent; or. The offensive player who attempts a snap during a Field Goal attempt or a Try Kick. A catch or recovery of a fumble or backward pass; A catch or recovery of a Scrimmage Kick, Free Kick, or Fair-Catch Kick; When the offensive team fails to reach the line to gain on fourth down; or, When the offensive team misses a field-goal attempt, The opportunity to receive the kickoff, or to kick off; or. For a flagrant violation, the Referee may exclude the offender(s) from the playing field enclosure for the remainder of the game. If both fouls are Dead Ball Fouls or are treated as such (. is downed in the end zone by the receiving team. However, if the first player has not come to a complete stop when the second player goes in motion, it is another shift and requires another simultaneous stop for at least one full second by all players. Contact with Receiver. OfficialsPenalty SummaryTable of Foul Codes/Team Abbreviation CodesOfficial Signals. It is applicable for fouls committed during (i) a running play or (ii) a backward pass or fumble. The foul is enforced prior to the snap. Whenever a team is in possession (3-2-7) of the ball, it is the Offense, and its opponent is the Defense. Note: It is the responsibility of the home team to furnish playable balls at all times by attendants from either side of the playing field. For a foul committed during a running play when there is not a subsequent change of possession during the down, the Basic Spot is the dead-ball spot. If any eligible backfield player goes in motion (one at a time) after the last shift and comes to a complete stop, there is no requirement for a full second pause before a second player can legally go in motion. When the NFL changed its rules in 1974 to restrict defenders’ downfield contact with receivers, some people referred to them as the "Isaac Curtis rules.”, That’s because, in a 1973 playoff game, the Miami Dolphins roughed up Curtis, star rookie receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals, and limited him to one catch for 9 yards in Miami’s 34-16 victory. If a forward pass from behind the line of scrimmage is incomplete in the end zone. When Team B establishes possession of the ball, a scrimmage kick ends, and a running play begins, and fouls that occur thereafter are enforced from the dead-ball spot or the spot of the foul (three-and-one method, 14-3-6). 2). This exception does not apply to any action other than a designed play. If there is a personal foul or unsportsmanlike conduct foul by the offense prior to an interception of a forward pass thrown from behind the line, enforcement is from the dead-ball spot. Catches or recovers the ball that point ; actual contact with the 1932 game! 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