NFL owners unanimously approve new catch rule

ORLANDO – NFL owners voted and approved three rule change proposals on Tuesday at league meetings, one of those being the proposal submitted by the competition committee that would change the standard of a catch.

As competition committee chairman and Falcons president Rich McKay explained in an earlier interview at league meetings, the criteria for a catch has been simplified to the following:

  1. Control
  1. Two feet down or another body part
  1. Perform a football move – (i.e. tuck it away, reach for the goal line, reach for a first down, take a third step)

The committee has spent the past three months delving into this rule trying to find the best way to simplify it, ultimately eliminating the ground element of the rule.

"The rule just needed a re-write," McKay said. "We needed to start over, re-write the rule, simplify it, narrow the window of time that was for a catch."

This wasn't the only rule change owners voted in favor for.

The owners approved the rule submitted by the competition committee that makes permanent the current rule in place that changes the spot of the next snap after a touchback resulting from a free kick to the 25-yard line.

They also approved the proposal that now will give authorization to the designated member of the officiating department in the booth to instruct on-field game officials to disqualify a player for a flagrant non-football act when a foul for that act is called on the field.

The following four bylaws were also changed:

By Competition Committee: Makes permanent the liberalization of rules for timing, testing, and administering physical examinations to draft-eligible players at a club's facility.

By Buffalo: For one year only, amends Article XVII, Section 17.4 to liberalize the rule for reacquisition of a player assigned via waivers.

By Denver: Amends Article XVII, Section 17.16 to permit clubs to trade players from Reserve/Injured.

By Minnesota: Amends Article XVIII, Section 18.1 to replace the 10-day postseason claiming period with a 24-hour period.

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