Nfl Rule Changes

3050 Words Mar 6th, 2012 13 Pages
Rule changes in the NFL have been made throughout the history of the league to improve the game, make it more exciting and reduce the risk of injury. Safety rules are one of the most important and effective ways in which the NFL and its owners can help protect the health of players. By helping to identify, promote and enforce safe on-field conduct (in concert with off-the-field education and policies), the league seeks to preserve both the health of players and the integrity of the game.

The NFL has established a strong set of rules through the years focused on player safety, designed to promote fair competition while attempting to minimize risk of harm to the player. While many of these rules have focused on reducing contact to the
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1920
■The American Professional Football Association becomes the country’s first organized professional football league.
1922
■The APFA becomes the National Football League.
1929
■A Field Judge is added to the officiating crew.
1933
■Hashmarks are drawn 10 yards from the sidelines.
1938
■The deliberate roughing of a passer after the ball has left his hand is unnecessary roughness. (Previously, the passer was protected after the pass had been made if he was “obviously out of the play.”)
1943
■Helmets become mandatory equipment.
1947
■A Back Judge is added to the officiating crew.
1955
■The ball is dead immediately if the runner touches the ground with any part of his body except his hands or feet while in the grasp of an opponent.
1956
■The ball is dead immediately if a runner touches the ground with any part of his body except his hands or feet after being contacted by a defensive player.
■Grasping the face mask of any opponent except a runner is illegal use of hands. Penalty: Five yards.
1962
■Grasping the face mask of an opponent is illegal. Penalty: 15 yards. A flagrant offender shall be disqualified.
1966
■All goal posts must be offset from the goal line.
1967
■A player who signals for a fair catch may not block or initiate contact with one of the kickers until the ball touches a player.
1971
■A team will not be charged a timeout for an injured player unless the injury occurs in the last two minutes of either half.
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