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ran.de wrote:

NFL legt neue Regeln für den Pro Bowl fest: Die Teams können nach Score den Ball behalten 

Die NFL will die Zahl der Kickoffs minimieren - wegen der großen Verletzungsgefahr. Beim Pro Bowl werden den Teams nun zwei Alternativen angeboten.

21.01.2020 • 18:11 Uhr / ran.de

New York/München - Der Pro Bowl am Sonntag bringt die besten Profis der Saison zusammen. Zudem verkürzt das Event in Orlando die Wartezeit bis zum Super Bowl LIV, in dem die Kansas City Chiefs und die San Francisco 49ers aufeinandertreffen.

Für die NFL-Verantwortlichen selbst hat das Allstar Game aber noch eine andere wichtige Bedeutung. Die Partie wird als Testfeld für mögliche künftige Regeln genutzt. Auch für die 2020er Ausgabe hat die Liga etwas ausgetüftelt und nun bekanntgegeben.

Zwei Alternativen zum Kickoff nach Score

So haben Teams nach erfolgreichem Field Goal oder Extrapunkt die Möglichkeit, auf den anschließenden Kickoff zu verzichten. Stattdessen gibt es zwei Alternativen. Der Ball kann direkt an das gegnerische Team übergeben werden, das seinen Drive an der eigenen 25-Yards-Linie mit einem First-and-10-Versuch startet.

Die punktende Mannschaft kann aber auch genauso gut entscheiden, selbst in Ballbesitz zu bleiben. Dann würde die Partie 25 Yards vor der eigenen Endzone mit einem Fourth-and-15-Spielzug fortgesetzt werden. Wird ein neues First Down erreicht, geht es wie bei jedem anderen Drive weiter. Beim Misserfolg bekommt das gegnerische Team das Ei an eben jener Position, kann also schnell punkten.

Ballbesitz muss nach Score nicht wechseln

Die letzte Variante ist also mit reichlich Risiko verbunden, bringt aber ein neues Element ins Spiel - gerade für Teams, die einen Comebackversuch unternehmen. Auf jeden Fall wird so die Zahl der Kickoffs - und gerade der Onside Kicks - verringert.

Gerade diesem Spielzug, während dem die Profis mit Höchstgeschwindigkeit auf den Returner zustürmen, wohnt ein immenses Verletzungsrisiko inne. Weshalb die Liga eben nach Möglichkeiten sucht, diese Art der Spielfortsetzung zu umgehen.

Neue Regeln für Receiver vor Snap

Etwas weniger spektakulär fällt die zweite große Neuerung aus, die Strafen für das angreifende Team umfasst. So wird es nicht als Fehlstart gewertet, sollte ein Receiver mit einem seiner Füße zucken oder diesen kurz hochziehen, solange der andere Fuß auf dem Boden bleibt und der Spieler eine Sekunde vor dem Snap wieder ruhig steht. Dieser Profi gilt dann nicht als "in motion".

Dagegen wird es mit einem Fehlstart und damit fünf Yards Raumverlust bestraft, wenn sich alle elf Spieler der Offense für mindestens eine Sekunde aufgestellt haben und ein Receiver beide Füße anzieht.

Sorry for the German source. I haven't found an English article yet.

Basically, after a team scores, they'll be offered the option to either kick off as usual or choose from one of two alternatives: surrender possession by placing the ball directly on the opposing team's 25-yard line—or keep the ball and start a new drive with a fourth-and-15 on their own 25-yard line. If they make the first down, they continue the drive as normal. If they fail to convert, they turn the ball over on downs deep inside their own territory and risk giving up an easy score.

With the league using the Pro Bowl as a platform to try out potential new rules, it's becoming ever more obvious that the NFL definitely has its sights set on eliminating the kickoff altogether some time in the next few years.
The second new rule is slightly more complicated to explain.

Under the new rule, a receiver will not be considered in motion and therefore will not be charged with a false start if he twitches one foot or raises it off the ground, as long as the other foot remains planted on the ground and he remains set for at least one second prior to the snap. By contrast, if all eleven players have been set for at least a second and a receiver moves both feet, he will be charged with a false start and assessed a five-yard penalty

Basically, it looks like the league wants to reduce the number of nonsensical false-start penalties triggered by motions that confer no advantage to the receiver, all the while making it more difficult for the receiver to gather any momentum prior to the snap. More's the pity. I had kind of hoped we might see a slight liberalization of the pre-snap motion rules to allow for something resembling the chaotic offensive formations we see in the CFL.
  • wpr
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Interesting changes. It sort of makes the Pro Bowl a little more relative when it is the testing ground for new rules.

I would rather see 3rd and 10 from the 20 instead of 4th and 15 from the 25. More teams would try that. The only teams going 4/15 are last gasp teams.

I like the liberalization of illegal motion. I think it can be expanded to the whole line. I hate that a OT flexes his bicep and gets penalized.
I agree that the flinching rule needs to go, even if they haven't seemed to call it that in years. The past couple of seasons we have seen quite a few eligible receivers lined up in the backfield being charged with false starts. I'm all for leveling the playing field on both sides of the ball—I was one of those who applauded the return of offensive pass interference, for example—but as with OPI, I think officials have started to go too far in their zeal for calling false starts.
I like that they're testing new rules first...

But also sorta hate this...

Cause they're getting rid of the kicking game, little by little....

First onsides, then kickoffs, next is probably punting... I feel like I'm getting old and going to have to explain how the game used to be played to my kids (don't have yet lol) and they're not gonna care lol
Curis Crabtree wrote:

Trial run of possible onside kick replacement ends in Kirk Cousins interception
Posted by Curtis Crabtree on January 26, 2020, 6:00 PM EST

With the success rates of onside kicks plummeting, the NFL debuted a trial run of a possible alternative in the Pro Bowl on Sunday afternoon.

Instead of an onside kick, an offense would have the chance to convert a fourth-and-15 from their own 25-yard line in an attempt to keep possession.

With the NFC trailing 38-33 following a Davante Adams touchdown, Pete Carroll kept the offense on the field to test the rule out in an effort to maintain possession. Kirk Cousins took a shot up the right sideline trying to find Kenny Golladay as he was double covered. Earl Thomas picked off the pass with laterals to Marlon Humphrey and Matthew Judon ensuing on the run back before Judon was ruled stopped.

The AFC took over possession from the spot Judon was ruled down at the NFC 35-yard line. The play was not treated like a two-point conversion with the clock stopped. The clock continued to run and the AFC took over possession at the end of the return.

Any changes to the rule would require an affirmative vote by three-fourths of the league’s owners.

I like the following comment posted on this article:
jluckow wrote:

Just change it to where the ball only needs to travel 8 yards instead of 10 before kicking team can recover it. That will up the percentage of successful inside kicks without adding the injury risks of before.

And I appreciate this reader's perspicacious observation:
dallas88kj wrote:

And the AFC ended up with worse field position as a result of the interception. They eventually got to the NFC’s 35 yard line – if he’d just batted the ball down, they would have taken over on the NFC’s 25 yard line!!
Terrible rule, terribly executed.

Another interesting perspective, though I disagree in principle, since the same temptation exists under current rules. I feel like half of the deep bombs thrown in the league are more ploys for cheap DPI calls than actual attempts at completions.
jimmyjohns01 wrote:

How does defensive holding and PI factor into the attempt? One bad call from a ref could automatically make it a 1st down. It would almost be wiser to try to get the defense to commit a penalty than actually trying to get 25 yards.

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