NFL teams unanimously approve simplified catch rules

The rules defining a catch have been whittled down and made easier to understand.

The NFL catch rules will be simpler beginning with the 2018 season.

NFL teams unanimously voted Tuesday to modify the rules on what constitutes a catch at the annual league meetings in Orlando, Fla.

The new rules governing what constitutes a catch:

  • Control of the ball
  • Two feet down or another body part
  • A football move, such as:
    • A third step
    • Reaching/extending for the line-to-gain
    • Or the ability to perform such an act

The biggest change in the new ruleset is the "going to the ground" factor, which has caused controversy over the past few seasons. The best examples of non-catches that would be reversed under the new rules are Dez Bryant's catch against the Packers in the 2014 playoffs and Jesse James' touchdown catch against the Patriots last season being reversed.

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