Owners approve eight of nine Competition Committee proposals

A day after approving a change to playoff overtime, NFL owners today voted to approve eight of the other nine rules changes put forth by the Competition Committee.

The one that was not approved, Proposal No. 7, was a rule allowing instant replay to be used to determine whether time expired prior to, during or after the last play of either half or overtime, and giving the referee the ability to put time back onto the clock. That rule was implemented for the playoffs in January and was expected to be approved for the 2010 regular season but was not approved today.

Competition Committee co-chair Rich McKay said the owners wanted to look into that measure more thoroughly and could address it at their next gathering.

“We’ve got some studying to do with respect to the end of the game and the way we start the clock and the way the clock operates,” McKay said. “We’re going to do that work between now and May and see if in May we don’t come back and propose something different. So that’s the one rule that did not pass.”

Competition Committee co-chair Jeff Fisher said that as it stands, there is no way for referees to review whether time expired at the end of a game or not.

“Basically, what we have now is we have nothing at the end of the game — we have no provision to review the final play of the game because that rule did not pass,” Fisher said.

Fisher added that he’s hoping the owners can be persuaded to take up the issue again in May, lest a game be declared over in a situation where a team should have had time to run a final play.

“The Committee’s hope is that we would eventually be able to have something there that would allow us to avoid that disaster at the end of the game,” Fisher said.

McKay said the owners also approved bylaws related to injury settlements and waiver claims, as well as a resolution standardizing policies regarding retractable-roof stadiums and the use of curtains in the stadiums (Indianapolis and Dallas) that have windows in the end zones.