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Referees In Camp To Review Rule Changes

An NFL officiating crew lead by referee Jeff Triplett is visiting the Vikings in Mankato to review rule changes for the 2011 season.

Some of the highlights involve defending defenselees players and reviews on a scoring play.

For the review, coaches can no longer challenge scoring plays at all; a review will be determined by the replay official only, at any time during the game. So, if a team scores, the opposing coach can’t challenge. But to prevent teams from running the kicking team out to hurry up and get the next play done, the official will not allow the ball to be snapped until he has received confirmation from the replay official that the score was confirmed.

The league is also getting very serious about blows to the head, and defenders leading with the helmet. Basically, if a defender leads with his helmet towards a defenseless player, it will be a 15 yard penalty. A defenseless player is considered a quarterback in the act of throwing, a receiver who is in the act of catching a ball, and a kicker in the act of kicking, among others.

A point of emphasis will also be placed on running backs and grabbing the facemask of a would be tackler. Running backs are still going to be allowed to use a straight arm, and incidental contact to the facemask is permissible. But if the runner grabs the facemask and then twists, it’s a 15 yard penalty.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.