September 26, 2022

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The NFL has requested its on-field officers to pay specific consideration to unlawful contact fouls...

The NFL has requested its on-field officers to pay specific consideration to unlawful contact fouls throughout the 2022 season, a league spokesperson confirmed Monday. The request may result in a rise in such flags following an enormous drop throughout the 2021 season.

Unlawful contact refers to prohibited contact by a defender when the quarterback nonetheless has the ball and stays within the pocket. It’s a 5-yard penalty and leads to an computerized first down.

Officers flagged unlawful contact a mean of 97 occasions per season between 2002 and 2020, however that quantity dropped to 36 final season. The lower prompted the NFL’s competitors committee to incorporate unlawful contact amongst its “factors of clarification,” previously generally known as “factors of emphasis,” for the 2022 season.

In administering unlawful contact, officers should first determine the prohibited contact after which verify the place of the ball and quarterback. The committee inspired officers to maneuver extra shortly from the contact to the quarterback, so as to higher implement the foul.

League sources surveyed by ESPN had been cut up on whether or not the wording of this 12 months’s unlawful contact directions will result in a spike in flags, as occurred after the 2 earlier factors of emphasis for the foul. In 2014, flags unlawful for unlawful contact rose to 148 from 52 in 2013. In 2004, they rose to 191 from 79 in 2003.

One other vital level of clarification for 2022 will revolve round roughing the passer fouls. The competitors committee has clarified that contact to the helmet and beneath the knee space have to be forcible, in recognition that some officers have thrown flags for minor contact in latest seasons.

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As they do each summer time, officiating crews are visiting coaching camps to replace gamers and coaches on all new guidelines and clarifications.

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