NFL kills receiver 'force-out' rule

April 2, 2008 at 5:04 PM

PALM BEACH, Fla., April 2 (UPI) -- NFL receivers will no longer be credited with a catch if they are forced out of bounds, league officials decided at their meetings in Palm Beach, Fla.

Under a new rule, game officials will not have to determine if a receiver was forced out on a reception. The receiver will have to have both feet inbounds for a legal catch.

The rule was one of several adopted before the league meetings concluded Wednesday.

Other changes:

-- Replay cameras may be used to determine if field goals and extra points are good.

-- The league eliminated the 5-yard penalty for incidental contact with a facemask.

-- Teams winning the opening coin toss may defer their decision until the second half.

-- The ball will be 'live' any time it is snapped by the center without touching the quarterback instead of the team being assessed a false-start penalty.

League officials decided to make no change in the playoff structure. There had been talk of a possible new playoff seeding format, but no formal vote was taken.

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