New kickoff formation likely will become permanent

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Last year, the NFL adopted a new kickoff formation on an experimental basis, agreeing to try the new configuration for one year and one year only. This year, the Competition Committee has recommended making the rule change permanent.

The first proposed rule change on the list of 16 consists of making the 2018 adjustments to the kickoff formation permanent. It’s a significant difference; experimental changes need 24 votes to be adopted and then 24 votes to be continued or to be made permanent. Permanent changes, once they happen, require 24 votes to be overturned or revised.

There’s no reason to think the kickoff change won’t be made permanent, because it achieved the primary goal of reducing concussions during the play. It would be a shock at this point if the change to the kickoff formation doesn’t become permanent.

Even if/when it does, there continues to be a feeling that, if/when concussions increase, the kickoff could get the boot. For now, though, the kickoff appears to be safe — even if the new kickoff formation has made recovering an onside kick roughly as easy as winning Powerball.