Rules changes to learn for the 2016 NFL season
- Updated: September 10, 2014
Significant Rule Changes – NFL
- All chop blocks are illegal.
- The line of scrimmage was permanently moved for kicks attempted toward the defensive team’s 15-yard line. The new rule allows the defense to return any missed try.
- Offensive and defensive play callers on the coaching staffs are permitted to use coach-to-player communication system, regardless of whether they’re on the field or in the coaches’ booth.
- The horse collar rule has been expanded to include when a defender grabs a jersey at the name plate or above, and pulls the runner to the ground.
- There will be a foul called for delay of game when a team attempts to call a timeout when it’s not permitted.
- It’s now a loss of down when an eligible receiver illegally touches a forward pass after being out of bounds and re-establishing himself inbounds.
Significant Rule Changes – NCAA
- A 15-yard penalty will be assessed to any defender that makes “forcible contact” to the head or neck of a runner that’s given himself up (slides feet-first).
- Reflecting other collegiate sports, football coaches may now be ejected if he collects two unsportsmanlike fouls during a game.
- No player may trip any opponent. Tripping an opponent with a leg will lead to a flag.
- Low hits on the passer will still prompt a foul as legislated last year. This year the rule for a conventional tackle clarified with, “without making forcible contact with the head or shoulder.”
- A fake field goal is legal if there is at least one player 10 or more yards behind the line of scrimmage or two players are at least 7 yards behind the line of scrimmage, changed from one player in the past. Language has changed from “obvious kick may be attempted” to “it must be obvious that a kick will be attempted.” Pay attention to how many linemen are in the offensive formation when a fake is called.
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