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Requirement of a "football move" on reception went away


GregR_2

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During the preseason, the head of NFL officiating, Mike Pereira, did one of his Official Review segments on NFL Total Access, and said that they had removed the "football move" requirement from the interpretation of what is required for a completed catch. So now possession and two feet down is the only requirement. If you don't get 2 feet down first but instead have your body hit the ground, you still have to maintain possession through the contact with the ground.

Anyway, I was telling someone this and they asked for a link. Either no one wrote an article that included it, or I'm doing a poor job in googling. The only things I've found were various forum posts on message boards where people were citing the same NFL Total Access that I saw.

Anyone recall a story that covered this, and if so can you find it and give me a link?

Thanks.

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During the preseason, the head of NFL officiating, Mike Pereira, did one of his Official Review segments on NFL Total Access, and said that they had removed the "football move" requirement from the interpretation of what is required for a completed catch. So now possession and two feet down is the only requirement. If you don't get 2 feet down first but instead have your body hit the ground, you still have to maintain possession through the contact with the ground.Anyway, I was telling someone this and they asked for a link. Either no one wrote an article that included it, or I'm doing a poor job in googling. The only things I've found were various forum posts on message boards where people were citing the same NFL Total Access that I saw.Anyone recall a story that covered this, and if so can you find it and give me a link?Thanks.

That rule cost USC a national title.
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Ah, nevermind, found one through a link from another message board.

http://www.atlantafalcons.com/News/Article...s_for_2007.aspx

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Veteran NFL officials Ed Hochuli, Doug Rosenbaum and Mark Hittner were at training camp for a second day Friday to review Falcons practice and answer questions regarding rule changes.

Each year the league’s competition committee, which is co-chaired by President and General Manager Rich McKay, makes rule-change recommendations to increase player safety and improve the quality of the game.

Changes for 2007 are light compared to past years, but Hochuli and his team still do their homework to get themselves, and teams, ready for the season.

“The one (change) I think is the most dramatic is not really a rule change, it’s just an interpretation change from the competition committee that deals with what is a completed catch,” Hochuli said.

Beginning this season, a receiver that gets two feet down and has control of the ball has a reception.

Traditionally a player needed to make “a football move” after a catch to have it classified a reception. Now, a quick hit from a defender could result in a fumble.

“Sometimes there’s a situation where there were three steps and the ball would come out and it would be correctly ruled an incomplete pass,” Hochuli said. “So, the receiver gets a second foot down, gets hit and the ball comes lose -- we would have a fumble rather than an incomplete pass.”

The play will continue to be subject to review via instant replay.

Another prominent change includes player celebration and spiking the ball. Beginning in 2007, a player can only spike the ball to celebrate a touchdown or if they are as part of a celebration out of bounds.

“If a player scores, or thinks he has scored, and he spikes the football obviously that’s no problem – as long as he doesn’t spike it at the feet in a taunting situation of another player,” Hochuli said. “If he gets a first down or catches a long pass and hops up and spikes or throws the ball, that’s a 5-yard penalty for delay of game.

“It does delay the game and it’s something that carries over to Saturday mornings when the youth football leagues are playing... The NFL is always very concerned about sportsmanship and what it passes on to younger players.”

Players must also take extra care in buckling their chinstraps this season. If any strap is unbuckled at the snap the player will be subject to a fine.

Officials will not penalize players for chinstrap violations – that responsibility goes to the uniform official who tallies up other violations – but they will give friendly reminders on the field.

“This is part of the league’s never-ending effort to try to make the game safer,” Hochuli said. “There have been several studies shown that it increases the chance of a concussion if a players’ chin strap is not buckled when he gets hit.”

Another major change comes at the goal line, where players will have to work a little harder on those acrobatic touchdown dives.

Beginning this season, the football must cross over or inside the pylon for a touchdown to be awarded. In past years, any part of a player’s body could cross the plane – even if the ball was out of bounds – for a score.

Hochuli also outlined changes in how “roughing the passer" will be called.

A player can now make contact with the quarterback, even send him to the ground, as long as it’s part of a continuous motion from his attempt to make a tackle.

“We try to protect the quarterbacks because they’re defenseless out there and they’re an integral part of the game,” Hochuli said. “There’s always that issue of interpretation. It’s going to take more than if he’s one step away and then he pushes him.

“The competition committee felt the rules had gone a little bit too far in protecting the quarterback in a situation where he’s very unlikely to get hurt... A lot of times a quarterback goes down just because he doesn’t have his balance.”

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  • 7 years later...
  • 8 months later...

Kendall Wright made a catch with his back to the sideline and the toe of his second foot was in bounds. It was ruled incomplete due to his heel needing to down. However, the exact same play where he was turned towards the sideline would have been complete if he had touched his toe in bounds.

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Its all terrible. Now, it seems like you have run about 5 yards before it is considered a catch. I remember when football didn't have to pay ex refs to sit in the studio and inerpret rules because it is more complicated than rocket science

The worst part is even the ex-refs can't figure out the calls most of the time. If the "rule analysts" they bring in can't even interpret the rules, how do they expect fans and players to understand them?

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Don't know what is going on with the Eifert play. I think they're now moving the Calvin/Dez rule to include plays not in the end zone?

That or because he caught it and then went in end zone he now has to get up with the ball like the Dez play? I would have assumed normal catch stretch ball in end zone would end the play. No clue what they called tbh. It was basically the Dez/Calvin call on a catch not in the end zone which is news to me.

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Don't know what is going on with the Eifert play. I think they're now moving the Calvin/Dez rule to include plays not in the end zone?

That or because he caught it and then went in end zone he now has to get up with the ball like the Dez play? I would have assumed normal catch stretch ball in end zone would end the play. No clue what they called tbh. It was basically the Dez/Calvin call on a catch not in the end zone which is news to me.

It has nothing to do with being in the endzone. Calvin was in the endzone, Dez play was at the 1.
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It might be a lot clearer if they basically said that you had to stand up with the football and hand it to the ref....and do the same for running the ball in for a TD. No more reaching across the goal line while fumbling the ball like someone did this weekend for a rushing TD.

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Don't know what is going on with the Eifert play. I think they're now moving the Calvin/Dez rule to include plays not in the end zone?

That or because he caught it and then went in end zone he now has to get up with the ball like the Dez play? I would have assumed normal catch stretch ball in end zone would end the play. No clue what they called tbh. It was basically the Dez/Calvin call on a catch not in the end zone which is news to me.

Fair disclosure - Bengals homer and Eifert owner - but that call was ridiculous.

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Don't know what is going on with the Eifert play. I think they're now moving the Calvin/Dez rule to include plays not in the end zone?

That or because he caught it and then went in end zone he now has to get up with the ball like the Dez play? I would have assumed normal catch stretch ball in end zone would end the play. No clue what they called tbh. It was basically the Dez/Calvin call on a catch not in the end zone which is news to me.

I think: a receiver has to maintain control all the way to the ground. Just because he crossed the plane while going to the ground does not magically stop the process at that instant. Not like when a runner who has control stretches over the line for a microsecond before being pushed back instantly ends the play. In that case, control has already been established. Ball must be under control in the end zone.

Just like any other catch. Ball and control to the ground if falling.

And maybe something about defender making contact before both feet made it a falling situation.

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I hope they have a segment with the ex head of officials tonight to explain the Eifert call...

as well as the Blake Bortles forward pass that was ruled a fumble (vs the Pats). The guy cocked his arm to throw the ball, was hit by a defender, and shoved the ball forward with his hand. Was an awkward end over end attempt but he propelled the ball about 10 yards down the field ... enough that one of his teamates recovered the bouncing ball for what ended up being a first down.

The sad part is they review these plays ... and still get them wrong.

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Don't know what is going on with the Eifert play. I think they're now moving the Calvin/Dez rule to include plays not in the end zone?

That or because he caught it and then went in end zone he now has to get up with the ball like the Dez play? I would have assumed normal catch stretch ball in end zone would end the play. No clue what they called tbh. It was basically the Dez/Calvin call on a catch not in the end zone which is news to me.

I think: a receiver has to maintain control all the way to the ground. Just because he crossed the plane while going to the ground does not magically stop the process at that instant. Not like when a runner who has control stretches over the line for a microsecond before being pushed back instantly ends the play. In that case, control has already been established. Ball must be under control in the end zone.

Just like any other catch. Ball and control to the ground if falling.

And maybe something about defender making contact before both feet made it a falling situation.

Right, but looking at the play, Eifert wasn't going to the ground to make the catch. He jumped straight up caught the ball, landed solidly on both feet and turned to stretch for the endzone. While reaching for the endzone, he was hit and the hit caused the ball to come out. I understand the rule for when a player is trying to make a diving catch, but not for when a guy catches the ball standing on his two feet. He didn't go to the ground to catch the ball.

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Don't know what is going on with the Eifert play. I think they're now moving the Calvin/Dez rule to include plays not in the end zone?

That or because he caught it and then went in end zone he now has to get up with the ball like the Dez play? I would have assumed normal catch stretch ball in end zone would end the play. No clue what they called tbh. It was basically the Dez/Calvin call on a catch not in the end zone which is news to me.

I think: a receiver has to maintain control all the way to the ground. Just because he crossed the plane while going to the ground does not magically stop the process at that instant. Not like when a runner who has control stretches over the line for a microsecond before being pushed back instantly ends the play. In that case, control has already been established. Ball must be under control in the end zone.

Just like any other catch. Ball and control to the ground if falling.

And maybe something about defender making contact before both feet made it a falling situation.

Right, but looking at the play, Eifert wasn't going to the ground to make the catch. He jumped straight up caught the ball, landed solidly on both feet and turned to stretch for the endzone. While reaching for the endzone, he was hit and the hit caused the ball to come out. I understand the rule for when a player is trying to make a diving catch, but not for when a guy catches the ball standing on his two feet. He didn't go to the ground to catch the ball.

I'm not entirely sure that if that catch, hit, and drop is made in the middle of the field, it's ruled a catch. But I just want it to be clear that crossing the plane does not immediately end the play, unlike when a RB jumps over the pile, because that's done once possession has already been established.

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Don't know what is going on with the Eifert play. I think they're now moving the Calvin/Dez rule to include plays not in the end zone?

That or because he caught it and then went in end zone he now has to get up with the ball like the Dez play? I would have assumed normal catch stretch ball in end zone would end the play. No clue what they called tbh. It was basically the Dez/Calvin call on a catch not in the end zone which is news to me.

I think: a receiver has to maintain control all the way to the ground. Just because he crossed the plane while going to the ground does not magically stop the process at that instant. Not like when a runner who has control stretches over the line for a microsecond before being pushed back instantly ends the play. In that case, control has already been established. Ball must be under control in the end zone.

Just like any other catch. Ball and control to the ground if falling.

And maybe something about defender making contact before both feet made it a falling situation.

Right, but looking at the play, Eifert wasn't going to the ground to make the catch. He jumped straight up caught the ball, landed solidly on both feet and turned to stretch for the endzone. While reaching for the endzone, he was hit and the hit caused the ball to come out. I understand the rule for when a player is trying to make a diving catch, but not for when a guy catches the ball standing on his two feet. He didn't go to the ground to catch the ball.

I'm not entirely sure that if that catch, hit, and drop is made in the middle of the field, it's ruled a catch. But I just want it to be clear that crossing the plane does not immediately end the play, unlike when a RB jumps over the pile, because that's done once possession has already been established.

Right, the fact that is or isn't in the end zone is irrelevant to the "process".

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I hope they have a segment with the ex head of officials tonight to explain the Eifert call...

as well as the Blake Bortles forward pass that was ruled a fumble (vs the Pats). The guy cocked his arm to throw the ball, was hit by a defender, and shoved the ball forward with his hand. Was an awkward end over end attempt but he propelled the ball about 10 yards down the field ... enough that one of his teamates recovered the bouncing ball for what ended up being a first down.

The sad part is they review these plays ... and still get them wrong.

To my eye on the Bortles play, the defender hit the ball as he had it back, dislodging it, and Bortles then "throwing it forward". But he was throwing a fumbled ball. I agreed with the call on that one.

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I hope they have a segment with the ex head of officials tonight to explain the Eifert call...

as well as the Blake Bortles forward pass that was ruled a fumble (vs the Pats). The guy cocked his arm to throw the ball, was hit by a defender, and shoved the ball forward with his hand. Was an awkward end over end attempt but he propelled the ball about 10 yards down the field ... enough that one of his teamates recovered the bouncing ball for what ended up being a first down.

The sad part is they review these plays ... and still get them wrong.

To my eye on the Bortles play, the defender hit the ball as he had it back, dislodging it, and Bortles then "throwing it forward". But he was throwing a fumbled ball. I agreed with the call on that one.

I agree, I think the defender knocked the ball loose before the arm moved forward, and once his mechanic got his arm going it pushed the loose ball ahead of him.

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Ah, nevermind, found one through a link from another message board.

http://www.atlantafalcons.com/News/Article...s_for_2007.aspx

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Veteran NFL officials Ed Hochuli, Doug Rosenbaum and Mark Hittner were at training camp for a second day Friday to review Falcons practice and answer questions regarding rule changes.

Each year the league’s competition committee, which is co-chaired by President and General Manager Rich McKay, makes rule-change recommendations to increase player safety and improve the quality of the game.

...

Beginning this season, the football must cross over or inside the pylon for a touchdown to be awarded. In past years, any part of a player’s body could cross the plane – even if the ball was out of bounds – for a score.

...

It's the same report.

Eifert did this, he got past the plain. You can't get past the plain hold the ball then have an incomplete pass, makes no sense.

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Don't know what is going on with the Eifert play. I think they're now moving the Calvin/Dez rule to include plays not in the end zone?

That or because he caught it and then went in end zone he now has to get up with the ball like the Dez play? I would have assumed normal catch stretch ball in end zone would end the play. No clue what they called tbh. It was basically the Dez/Calvin call on a catch not in the end zone which is news to me.

I think: a receiver has to maintain control all the way to the ground. Just because he crossed the plane while going to the ground does not magically stop the process at that instant. Not like when a runner who has control stretches over the line for a microsecond before being pushed back instantly ends the play. In that case, control has already been established. Ball must be under control in the end zone.

Just like any other catch. Ball and control to the ground if falling.

And maybe something about defender making contact before both feet made it a falling situation.

Right, but looking at the play, Eifert wasn't going to the ground to make the catch. He jumped straight up caught the ball, landed solidly on both feet and turned to stretch for the endzone. While reaching for the endzone, he was hit and the hit caused the ball to come out. I understand the rule for when a player is trying to make a diving catch, but not for when a guy catches the ball standing on his two feet. He didn't go to the ground to catch the ball.

I'm not entirely sure that if that catch, hit, and drop is made in the middle of the field, it's ruled a catch. But I just want it to be clear that crossing the plane does not immediately end the play, unlike when a RB jumps over the pile, because that's done once possession has already been established.

In Eiferts case ... he caught the ball with his back to the end zone, controlled it, took 3 or 4 little steps and turned around and dove towards the endzone which is clearly a football move.

I don't get this one at all.

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Ah, nevermind, found one through a link from another message board.

http://www.atlantafalcons.com/News/Article...s_for_2007.aspx

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. Veteran NFL officials Ed Hochuli, Doug Rosenbaum and Mark Hittner were at training camp for a second day Friday to review Falcons practice and answer questions regarding rule changes.

Each year the leagues competition committee, which is co-chaired by President and General Manager Rich McKay, makes rule-change recommendations to increase player safety and improve the quality of the game.

...

Beginning this season, the football must cross over or inside the pylon for a touchdown to be awarded. In past years, any part of a players body could cross the plane even if the ball was out of bounds for a score.

...

It's the same report.

Eifert did this, he got past the plain. You can't get past the plain hold the ball then have an incomplete pass, makes no sense.

That rule doesn't have anything to do with the catch rule. The NFL's stance is he never had possession because he never finished catching the ball because he was falling down and lost the ball as he went to the ground. I think the rule sucks and they botched it here, but it has nothing to do with breaking the plane.
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Ah, nevermind, found one through a link from another message board.

http://www.atlantafalcons.com/News/Article...s_for_2007.aspx

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Veteran NFL officials Ed Hochuli, Doug Rosenbaum and Mark Hittner were at training camp for a second day Friday to review Falcons practice and answer questions regarding rule changes.

Each year the league’s competition committee, which is co-chaired by President and General Manager Rich McKay, makes rule-change recommendations to increase player safety and improve the quality of the game.

...

Beginning this season, the football must cross over or inside the pylon for a touchdown to be awarded. In past years, any part of a player’s body could cross the plane – even if the ball was out of bounds – for a score.

...

It's the same report.

Eifert did this, he got past the plain. You can't get past the plain hold the ball then have an incomplete pass, makes no sense.

That rule change refers to someone who already has control, is running down the sideline, then, as he's going out of bounds at the 1, sticks the ball out over the plane of the goal line. Before the change, the guy going out at the one could have the ball in the out-of-bounds hand and as long as part of his body, and not the ball, crossed the plane of the goal-line in bounds, it counted as a TD. The new rule says the ball, in the hands of someone who has already established possession and control in bounds on the field of play, must stay in bounds as it crosses the plane (the old plane extended "for infinity" out of bounds).

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I haven't seen the Eifert play yet specfically, but agree with what Iluv80s and Walking Boot have said.

As far as how the goal line plays in receptions, think of it as no different than a receiver who only gets 1 foot down inbounds and cross the goal line. He has "control" of the ball, gets 1 foot down, and breaks the plane then his 2nd foot goes out. Is it a touchdown? Of course not, by the rules they are using he never made a catch. Everyone accepts it is not yet a catch so they don't try to apply "breaking the plane" to it.

It's the same with going to the ground and losing the ball. If he goes to the ground and loses the ball, or if he doesn't have the ball long enough to "clearly establish himself as a runner" (which is the new wording to replace "football move"). Doesn't matter if he broke the plane, it was never a catch.

We can still disagree with a call and think that the player established himself as a runner before losing the ball but the ref said he didn't. But that would be where we differ, the goal line has nothing to do with it. Whether it's a catch or not has to be decided before you care anything about the goal line, and the rule for that is the same everywhere on the field.

I sympathize with people frustrated by how the rule works now. Though I'll also say, I think if they change it back to how it used to be, we'll hear just as much complaining when it goes back to pure judgment call by the ref. If you apply the rule as written, most of the time you'll end up with the same answer as the ref, and far more than it used to be in my opinion. But the rule as written doesn't match what we grew up to expect, it basically makes "incomplete" the default if there is any doubt at all.

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They oughtta just let any and all juggling count as "possession" so long as the ball doesn't hit the ground and the receiver is in bounds.

And quit counting slight bobbles or hand changes as "juggling". Redefine "possession" as something other than "ball not moving at all". I'd even be cool with a play where a receiver catches a ball at the sideline (feet clearly in by > 18"), bobbles the ball for a 3-count while running out of bounds, and doesn't actually cradle the ball firmly until he's 5 yards out of bounds. Call that a good catch, too.

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Well I was under the impression that the catch rules are different for in the end zone vs not. Based on these comments, that play would have been ruled incomplete on the 50 yard line?

Right the end zone has nothing to do with whether it's a catch or not.

Being in the end zone has never removed the requirement for a catch of getting 2 feet down, right? So when they added requirements to clearly become a runner and to control the ball through going to the ground before it is a catch, they don't get removed by it being the end zone either.

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Delanie Walker caught a pass, fumbled it(without it touching the ground) and they scored it as an INT and reviewed it saying that was correct.

This is the play that came to mind when I heard the rule had changed. Couldn't find a good video of this since the entire internet is mostly focused on Mariota's tackling skills.... but on replays Walker clearly came down with the ball, tucked it away and when he turned up field the ball suddenly slipped away from him.

Watching it I was waiting to see how the refs would enforce the changes...surprised when they still called it an INT. My assumption is they'll wait to enforce it at the most crucial moment in a playoff game...fans are always known to be much more understanding about invoking these obscure rules only during games that matter.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Is it really that important to have clearly defined rules in sports? What about having a sense of mystery to add some excitement?

??? You want "a sense of mystery"? lofl go see a movie or read a book.

These guys put their heart (and health) on the line and you want some 60 year old Merlins to decide what would be........neat? Please.

Yeah no more "clearly defined rules in sports". In fact that would make all sports so much better . . . ribbons for everyone and added "excitement"!

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Is it really that important to have clearly defined rules in sports? What about having a sense of mystery to add some excitement?

??? You want "a sense of mystery"? lofl go see a movie or read a book.

These guys put their heart (and health) on the line and you want some 60 year old Merlins to decide what would be........neat? Please.

Yeah no more "clearly defined rules in sports". In fact that would make all sports so much better . . . ribbons for everyone and added "excitement"!

Sarcasm, Sheldon.

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