Reports: Ravens propose overhauled OT format, booth umpire

1 month ago 5

The Baltimore Ravens are reportedly proposing a pair of rule changes that could have a big impact on the field in 2021 if adopted by NFL owners this off-season.

The first is a radical change to the NFL’s current overtime rules, with Baltimore set to propose what’s called “spot and choose,” which would help to fix issues with the value currently placed on winning the overtime coin toss.

How does “spot and choose” work? According to Pro Football Talk‘s Mike Florio, who first reported the Ravens’ proposal, “one team picks the spot of the ball to start overtime, and the other team chooses whether to play offence or defence.”

“If the one team picks, for example, the offence’s own 20-yard line, the opponent would then choose whether to play offence from their own 20 or to play defence, with the other team having the ball on its own 20,” writes Florio. “This would minimize greatly the impact of the coin toss; under this proposal, the coin toss would be used only to give the team that wins the toss the right to pick the spot of the ball (along with the end zone to be defended) or to choose offence or defence.”

The “spot and choose” proposal would bring strategy into play for the overtime coin toss rather than the winner often being decided by a simple flip of the coin.

The Ravens are reportedly submitting two separate “spot and choose” overtime proposals. In one of the proposals, overtime would be sudden death after the spot-and-choose coin toss with the team to score first winning the game or a tie after 10 minutes of play. In the second proposal, the game would not be sudden death, but instead go on for seven-and-a-half minutes of play after the spot-and-choose coin toss with the leading team after that period of play winning the game or a tie if the teams remain deadlocked.

Baltimore is also proposing the NFL introduce an eighth official to league crews, called the “booth umpire,” who would be positioned off the field “with access to all broadcast angles via the NFL’s Hawkeye technology,” according to the language tweeted out by Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer.

The Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers first presented a joint proposal for a “booth umpire” last spring.

In order for proposed rule changes to take effect, they must be approved by 24 of the 32 NFL owners. The league’s owners are set to meet virtually March 30-31 and could vote on the Ravens’ proposals at that time.

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