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The NFL will utilize the 2020 Pro Bowl to try out potential future rule changes

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The NFL is utilizing their annual All-Star game to try out some new rules which could go into effect in the future.

NFL: Pro Bowl Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

It is the Pro Bowl, it isn’t that exciting. Players don’t really try, or not since Sean Taylor played in the game, and it resembles more of a walk through than an actual football exhibition.

Nonetheless, the NFL continues to put players on the field, risking injury, the week before the Super Bowl thinking this is what fans want. I guess if TV Ratings continue to stay higher than most sports’ regular season contests the league will find no reason to stop doing what they’re doing.

While the Pro Bowl might be seen as completely pointless, and it is, the league is at least trying to incorporate new rules and policies into the game to see if they could potentially be implemented in the future.

In 2020 the league will again roll out some new rules to see how they look, and are administered, in an actual game setting.

See what the NFL is planning for the Pro Bowl Sunday:

A more detailed description, for those who might not be able to read the above text:

OPTIONS AFTER A SUCCESSFUL FIELD GOAL OR TRY ATTEMPT WITH NO KICKOFF

The scoring team, Team A, has the following options:

  1. Team A may elect to give Team B the ball at Team B’s 25-yard line, beginning a new series of downs with a first-and-10.
  2. Team A may elect to take the ball at its own 25-yard line for a fourth-and-15 play.

If Team A is successful in making a first down, Team A will maintain possession and a new series of downs will continue as normal.

If Team A is unsuccessful in making a first down, the result will be a turnover on downs and Team B will take possession at the dead ball spot.


NOT A FALSE START ON A FLINCH BY A FLEXED RECEIVER

It is not a false start if a flexed, eligible receiver in a two-point stance who flinches or picks up one foot, as long as his other foot remains partially on the ground and he resets for one second prior to the snap. A receiver who fits this exception is not considered to be “in motion” for the purposes of the Illegal Shift rules.

It is not a false start if all 11 offensive players have been set for at least one full second and any flexed, eligible receiver breaks his stance by picking up both feet.


FLINCH BY FLEXED RECEIVER NOT A FALSE START

ARTICLE 2. FALSE START

It is a False Start if the ball has been placed ready for play, and, prior to the snap, an offensive player who has assumed a set position charges or moves in such a way as to simulate the start of a play, or if an offensive player who is in motion makes a sudden movement toward the line of scrimmage. Any quick abrupt movement by a single offensive player, or by several offensive players in unison, which simulates the start of the snap, is a false start.

Exceptions:

  1. This does not apply to an offensive player under the center who turns his head or shoulders, unless the movement is an obvious attempt to draw an opponent offside.
  2. This does not apply to a flexed, eligible receiver in a two-point stance who flinches or picks up one foot, as long as his other foot remains partially on the ground, and he resets for one second prior to the snap. A receiver who fits this exception is not considered to be “in motion” for purposes of the “illegal shift” rules.

Note: See 4-6-5-d, for actions by a defensive player who attempts to cause an offensive player to commit a false start.

Item 1. Interior Lineman. It is a False Start if an interior lineman (tackle to tackle) takes or simulates a three-point stance, and then changes his position or moves the hand that is on the ground.

An interior lineman who is in a two-point stance is permitted to reset in a three-point stance or change his position, provided that he resets prior to the snap. If he does not reset prior to the snap, it is a False Start.

Item 2. Eligible Receiver. If all 11 offensive players have been set for at least one full second, and any flexed eligible receiver breaks his stance by picking up both feet, it is a False Start.

If an eligible receiver who is on the line of scrimmage moves backward immediately prior to the snap and does not reset before the snap, it is a False Start.

Any eligible receiver is permitted to change from a two-point stance to a three-point stance, or from a three-point stance to a two-point stance, provided he resets prior to the snap. If he does not reset, it is a False Start.


PROPOSED RULE WHEN KICKOFFS ARE NOT PERMITTED

Options After A Successful Field Goal Or Try Attempt:

At any point in the game, after a successful field goal or the conclusion of a Try attempt, the scoring team, (Team A), has the following two options:

  1. Team A may elect to give Team B the ball at the B25-yard line, first-and-10, beginning a new series of downs. If this option is elected, all normal penalty enforcement principles will apply; or
  2. Team A may elect to take the ball at its own 25-yard line, (A25), fourth-and-15. If Team A is successful in making a first down, Team A will maintain possession, and a new series of downs will continue, as normal. If Team A is unsuccessful in making a first down, the result will be a turnover on downs, and Team B will take possession at the dead ball spot (after enforcement of any applicable fouls).

Will this make you tune into the Pro Bowl at 3 p.m. ET? Probably not, but if you do watch and are wondering about the new rules...now you know.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they prepare for another lengthy offseason.