After many controversial calls that affected the season of NFL teams across the league, a rule change was incorporated to fix it.
The rule was unanimously (32-0) changed by league owners in an annual meeting Tuesday morning, according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport.
The new rule incorporates steps defining a catch:
1. Control of the ball.
2. Two feet down or another body part.
3. A football move such as:
» A third step;
» Reaching/extending for the line-to-gain;
» Or the ability to perform such an act.
Put in simple terms, the “going to the ground” rule is no longer a part of the NFL rule book. This rule stated that a player must maintain possession of the ball while going to the ground, without allowing the ball to hit the ground in the process. As a result, many plays in the NFL saw receivers catch the ball, control it, then reach out to the goalline to extend the ball across it, only to have it hit the ground. While everything about these plays screamed a catch, the old NFL rule said differently.
Here’s a look at the rule change in its entirety:
— Michael Signora (@NFLfootballinfo) March 27, 2018
Some teams affected by this old rule were the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions.
(Catch at 2:45)
All three of these catches were called back by the officials. However, if they were to happen this season, the plays would not be called back due to the most recent rule change this morning.