The NFL has announced the rule changes for 2013 with three big modifications:
1 – The “tuck rule” is gone!
2 – The crazy “red flag rule” that hosed the Lions and Falcons last year has been changed. It will still be a penalty for “unnecessary challenge” (or however they word it), but officials will still review the play.
3 – Likely the most difficult new rule is that a “runner in the open field cannot lower his head and initiate contact with a defender with the crown (top) of his helmet“. This has been legal since day one, and now suddenly isn’t, which could take some adjustments by ball carriers.
Mark over at Football Zebras has a great review of the changes that is certainly worth reading.
If this rule were in effect for the 2012-13 season, it would have resulted in five penalties and in all five cases the defender who was hit was injured. The rule affects the player in the open field and in that position their head should be up looking for avoid tacklers, not a running back going through the line between the tackles. This rule change has been totally misunderstood.
morris leavindor says
any idea who will be the referee for sunday’s hall of fame game in canton, oh?
Chris Rorman says
The new rules,with the exception of the repeal of the tuck rule, are terrible. I understand that protecting the players is important, but there are inherent risk involved with playing football. Most players and fans realize this fact. Injuries are part of those risk. The no 5 yard chuck rule, the hitting the defenseless player rule, and the pass interference rules have changed the complexion of the game for the worse. Physical teams are being penalized for hustle plays. I understand the helmet to helmet on some plays, but the offensI’ve players are learning to entice the refs in calling these as incorrect penalties by dropping there head. It is making football a frustrating sport to watch. I will still watch the NFL, for now, but my intetest in college football is growing. Make more bad rules and I will stop wasting my time on Sundays. Maybe I will start antiquing with the Misses. Haha