THE NEW NFL KICKOFF RULE REVISED - A HEALTHY MIX OF SAFETY AND EXCITEMENT FOR PLAYERS AND FANS
Hello, I am a fan of the NFL (football in general). So, here is my attempt at formulating a combination of potential changes to the NFL's kickoff rule, which will (I hope!) create a safe and exciting atmosphere for players and fans. (Sorry, but I think my idea does a lot more that just talk about "safety" for the players and "excitement" for the fans.) There will be some areas of debate, which should be expected. As is with most ideas, this plan may not be the exact formula which could/should be used during NFL kickoffs. Is it just a good starting point? Maybe, but isn't that how great things come about? I would ask all who read my revised rule idea, instead of debating this idea from a good or bad perspective; debate how this idea could or maybe not, incorporate a truly safe and exciting atmosphere during NFL kickoffs for all those involved.
THE NEW NFL KICKOFF RULE - REVISED IDEA
1. Before kickoff, the kicking team's "kicker", will kickoff from his own 30 or 35 yard line, the remaining players on the kicking team, will be lined up on the "receiving team's" 30 yard line. The receiving team will start lined up on their own 20-yard line. (The receiving team has the ability to pyramid stack or "scatter spread" their players from the 20 yard line back to goal line)
2. At kickoff, the receiving team's players will not permitted to run back towards the goal line (only forward motion, unless engaged with an opposing team's player). The kickoff team is not permitted to have a running start of any distance (dead start from 30 yard line).
3. Both teams will be allowed to initiate movement (except for "return man" fielding/catching the ball) only after, the ball has been received, has crossed the goal line, or has been touched by a player of the returning team prior to crossing the goal line.
4. On-Sides kickoffs will have to be announced prior to the play occurring. Both teams will be lined up on their own 40 yard line (as will the "kicker", this only for on-sides kickoff's). The football must travel 10 yards or past the 50-yard line before the kicking team is allowed to touch the football. The receiving team's players will not be permitted to run back towards their own goal line/endzone. (The receiving team can pyramid stack or scatter stack players back to the goal line/endzone). Both teams will only be able to start movement once the ball has been kicked/struck.
5. Kickoff's that travel out of bounds are subject to re-kick or being placed on receiving teams 40-yard line for the start of play. (unchanged basically)
6. Penalties may vary on basis of rule changes.
Seriously though, my (this) idea kind of makes an attempt at taking aspects of the NFL Punt and traditional NFL Kickoff and sort of "mash them together." As I see it working out, this should be able to limit the need to run to the spot where most teams would "break down" anyways. Which has high collisions "sometimes" and in some ways, might also be helping contribute to the injuries happening. As the players are going full speed and then for the most part "stopping on a dime", then changing directions, depending on the opposing team players. Another way you might look at it, as a way to potentially create a Techno Football like NFL return where special teams now have a chance on almost every return of scoring a touchdown. (if you block well enough!) Or, maybe a fun idea to think about? How it kind of combines most "old school gym class games" such as "dodge ball", "capture the flag" I mean the list goes on. So, just step out of what you know, when you think about this IDEA, and think about "what COULD" possibly be in the works? If nothing else, I hope this will spark some fun and game changing debate. (Maybe, ask yourself this quesion..."Could a rule like this help keep my own child safe and at the same time, keep it fun and exciting to play or watch football at any level?") Just a question to think about.