Despite a proposal put forth in March, owners will not vote at this week’s meeting to make overtime 15 minutes again.
When the league first began discussing offseason rules changes two months ago, one of the proposals was expanding overtime to 15 minutes, as it had been until it was shortened to 10 minutes three years ago. We noted at the time that rule was unlikely to pass.
As it turns out, it’s not even coming to a vote. The proposal is not even on the agenda for this week’s meeting.
It’s not unusual for teams to put forward proposals and then withdraw them when they see they don’t have enough support to have any chance of passing.
Still, the overtime proposal was worth discussing, not only because it would have changed the length of overtime, but also because it would have changed the coin toss procedures. Under the proposal, there would only be a coin toss to start overtime if the two teams had scored the same number of touchdowns during regulation. If one team had scored more touchdowns than the other, that team would get the choice to kick or receive the overtime kickoff.
The proposed revision to overtime also would have put the ball on the 20-yard line, rather than the 25-yard line, after a touchback on the overtime kickoff. That’s a rule worth discussing as well.
So while it appears that overtime will be unchanged in 2020, there are potential changes that the league should continue to consider.