When the NFL Competition Committee gathers for next week's Annual League Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, shortening the game's "fifth quarter" will go under the microscope. Postseason games would keep the traditional 15-minute time limit. Recently, the league also shifted the overtime rules to make sure that each team has an opportunity to score.
If the rule does pass, it would be the second big change in five years.
The idea is that during preseason and regular-season games, overtime will be slashed from 15 minutes to 10. The theory behind hiring "zebras" on a full-time basis would presumably be so that they understood the league's rules better and were able to properly apply them to game action, thus leading to better and more accurate calls made in the heat of the moment.
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Here are other expected rule change proposals, per Maske.
With both teams getting a possession in most games that went to overtime, the 2012 rule change dramatically increased the number of ties in the NFL. The Patriots ended up scoring a touchdown to win the game, shocking the football world by completing the largest comeback in Super Bowl history. During these meetings, owners of NFL teams, team officials, and league representatives will all come together to discuss ways to improve the NFL.
A report by NFL.com columnist Judy Battista underscored how a potential disadvantage may already be in place for teams playing in an overtime period on Sunday. Would the owners agree with the players on this issue? While there are certainly arguments that rookies and training camp invites could use that extra time to prove they deserve to be on National Football League rosters, preseason overtime periods are something that veterans have complained about for years. Currently, they're only part-time employees, considering there are only 256 games in a season. However, if more teams start having ties because of the change, the rule will need to be repealed.