NFL owners tighten rules on definition of completed catch

NFL team owners voted unanimously Tuesday to approve changing the league’s “catch” rule, tightening the definition of a reception to ease what had become an area of officiating controversy. In the annual owners meeting at Orlando, owners approved a new rule requiring only three parts to a completed catch control of the ball, two feet down or another body part grounded in bounds and the making of a “football move.”

A “football move” was defined as either a third step, reaching for or extending the ball toward the line to gain or the ability to perform such an act. It remains with on-field officials to judge whether a catch has been completed, subject to video review as warranted.

Gone is a requirement that a receiver maintain control of the ball throughout the process of going to the ground. Owners also finalized a rule having teams begin play after a touch-back from the 25-yard line and allowing the replay review office officials to eject players for on-field violations.

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