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NFL ends the insanity; changes catch rule

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New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

By a unanimous vote, NFL owners voted today to change the rules for what qualifies as a catch.

The new rules defining a catch include:

1. Control of the ball.

2. Two feet down or another body part.

3. A football move such as:

» A third step;

» Reaching/extending for the line-to-gain;

» Or the ability to perform such an act.

The key change to the rule eliminated the “going-to-the-ground” element of the previous rule.

It sounds great in theory. We will see how it works in practice. It is possible we will see some unforeseen complications that will require the league to tweak things further in future years.

With that said, it is difficult to see how this is anything but good news. The various standards for a catch was needlessly complicated and contradictory. It doesn’t make any sense to change the standard when a player is going to the ground. Seasons have been altered and even lost because of bizarre interpretations of the convoluted rules. It felt like events in the 2017 season finally gave the league the push it needed to change the rule.