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August 28, 2009

NFL dishes out new rules for video board

Jerry Jones' mega-video-board, the world's largest HDTV that hangs 90 feet above the playing field at Cowboys Stadium, will remain at 90 feet. There will be some new rules changes, however, as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell notified NFL clubs.

After consulting with the competition committee and NFL staff, the commissioner laid down the new rules that will take effect for all games from here on out, starting with Saturday's preseason game against the 49ers at Cowboys Stadium.

Here are the new rules as dictated by the commish:

  1. If a ball in play strikes a video board, guide wire, sky cam, or any other object, the ball will be dead immediately, and the down will be replayed at the previous spot.  
  2. If there is not an on-field ruling that the ball struck an object, the Replay Assistant is empowered to initiate a booth review, including if the event occurs prior to the two-minute warning.  If, prior to the two-minute warning, no booth review is initiated by the Replay Assistant, a coach’s challenge is permitted under the customary procedures for such a challenge.  
  3. In the event the down is replayed:

(a)  The game clock will be reset to the time remaining when the snap occurred.

(b)  All penalties will be disregarded, except for personal fouls which will be administered prior to replaying the down.

Rule 3, Section 1 of the Official NFL Playing Rules provides for an official ruling to be implemented “in the interim between the annual rules meeting” that is “official only during the current season.”  This Official Ruling expires at the conclusion of the 2009 postseason. 

“We will continue to address the particular circumstances in Dallas, giving full consideration to the competitive, safety and fan experience issues involved,” Commissioner Goodell said.  “The Cowboys have been fully cooperative as we have addressed this subject, and we will continue to work closely with the club on a longer term resolution.”

Of couse, the controversy ignited last week when Tennessee punter A.J. Trapasso nailed the video board with a punt. Titans coach Jeff Fisher is a co-chair of the competition committee and he believes the video board will be an ongoing issue that disrupts games. Jerry Jones doesn't think so. He has no intention to raise the board.

Jeff Caplan

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