Ravens Make Pair of Strong Rule Change Proposals to NFL

John Harbaugh

Getty John Harbaugh chatting with a referee during a Ravens game in 2020.

The Baltimore Ravens have long been one of the more forward thinking organizations in the NFL, and once again, the franchise is proving that in a big way with their rules proposals for the future.

In recent days, the Ravens have been making some major headlines for the rules they want to see get instituted, and the first involves a sky judge to help the official see plays. That person would be able to assist the referees with obvious mistakes they have made on the field during the course of play.

Naturally, the Ravens are getting a ton of credit for this idea, but it’s something that folks around the league have wanted to see happen for a while. Many have assumed that the referees could use extra help in making judgement calls, and this resolution is simply another step toward that fact if it gets passed.

The Ravens have been busy this offseason with regards to the league, and this proposal is far from the only one the team is pitching, however.


Ravens Also Proposing New Overtime Rule

Not only do the Ravens wish to see a new eye in the sky, the team wants the league to take a look at how overtime is conducted as well. Baltimore has pitched a radical new idea that does have some support around the league in the form of a “spot and choose” situation for the extra frame. The concept

Here’s the explanation from Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio:

“Per multiple sources with knowledge of the situation, the Ravens will be proposing a pair of overtime procedures premised on the concept of “spot and choose.”

It works like this: One team picks the spot of the ball to start overtime, and the other team chooses whether to play offense or defense.

If the one team picks, for example, the offense’s own 20 yard line, the opponent would then choose whether to play offense from their own 20 or to play defense, with the other team having the ball on its own 20. This would minimize greatly the impact of the coin toss; under this proposal, the coin toss would be used only to give the team that wins the toss the right to pick the spot of the ball (along with the end zone to be defended) or to choose offense or defense.

Under one of the two proposals to be made by the Ravens, overtime would proceed in sudden-death fashion, with the first score by either team ending the game and up to 10 minutes of extra time. (If the game remains tied at that point, the game’s outcome would be a tie.) Under the other proposal (favored, we’re told, by Patriots coach Bill Belichick), the game would continue for another seven minutes and 30 seconds, without a sudden-death component. Whoever leads after the extra time has ended would be the winner. (Again, if the game remains tied after the extra session, the game’s outcome would be a tie.)”

Such an overtime proposal would be likely to see some support from around the league due to the fact that the Ravens are one of the more forward thinking organizations in the league. Even such, teams could be hesitant to support the new overtime proposal, which could leave the Ravens waiting to see it ratified.

At the very least it’s neat to see the Ravens trying to mix it up and give some life to a new overtime period which many can agree needs to see some major changes.


What Happens Next for Ravens Proposals

After these proposals are brought to the forefront, they will have to be ratified by the league and confirmed in order to be passed. There needs to be a majority of teams that vote in order to pass the resolution. Typically, rule changes are hard to come by in the league, but in proposing these, the Ravens are at least getting the process going so that the league and teams can consider the resolutions.

In terms of what the Ravens have proposed, it might be more likely for the team to get traction toward a sky judge proposal.

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