If there is going to be an NFL season next year, there will be some new rules for the players and coaches to follow.
The most talked about rule change thus far concerns kickoff’s. Instead of kicking from the 30-yard line, teams will now start at their own 35. Adjustments were made for this to pass by the NFL competition committee and the coaches.
Kicking off at the 35-yard line — a five yard difference — doesn’t seem that drastic but it can change the way coaches go about kickoffs. With the rule change there is a greater chance that kicks will go into the end zone for a touchback.
The NFL also changed the rule, according to reports, because of the health risk that comes with kickoffs, because players are running at each other at full speed, and there is greater chance for painful collisions.
The committee also suggested having the ball spotted at the 25-yard line after a touchback. They didn’t change the rule, however, and the ball will still be placed at the 20-yard line.
Another part of the kickoff that was discussed was the two-man wedge. The committee wanted to eliminate the use of the two-man wedge, but it passed. Coaches said the wedge makes it harder for quality returns.
Instant replay has also been expanded, according to reports. All scoring plays will have to be confirmed from the booth replay official. Coaches are still allowed two challenges, including a third if they are successful on the first two.
Coverage players were allowed up to a 15-yard running start before the kicker made contact with the ball on kickoffs. They’re only going to be allowed a 5-yard running start.
The NFL also discussed changing the color of the field, but in order for a team to change the color of its fields, they will need approval from the commissioner. Commissioner Roger Goodell will have complete power to approve or deny the change.