NFL Competition Committee to propose shorter overtime

Hazel Gray
March 21, 2017

After fan complaints that games were taking too long to complete their overtime periods, the league may be ready to overreact.

For a proposal to become an NFL rule, it has to get a "yes" vote from 24 of the league's 32 owners, who will all be attendance for the meeting, which is set for March 26-29 in Phoenix. According to, the league feels that teams are at a "real disadvantage" when they have to play a Thursday game following a Sunday game where they played a 15-minute overtime period.

Among the proposals the committee will put forth are a ban on defensive players leaping over the line of scrimmage on field goals and extra point attempts, shortening the overtime period to 10 minutes and the implementation of full-time officials, according to multiple reports. That breaks down to less than two percent of all regular season games, suggesting that this proposed rule change won't have a huge overall impact on the league.

Could overtime be shortened to just 10 minutes?

If the rule does pass, it would be the second big change in five years.

The Patriots are one team that would be effected by the rule-change proposals.

One potential rule change is altering the length of overtime for regular season and preseason games. Would the owners agree with the players on this issue? Designating officials as full-time employees, a longstanding talking point within the National Football League, also is under consideration, according to ESPN. Some believe making them full-time would improve the quality of the officiating in the NFL. That rule, which should have been adopted for the postseason only already is causing teams to play deeper into the fifth period during regular season games.

All this is going to do is create more ties, while not actually changing the style of play in overtime. Ties muddle the standings as well, giving inexact results when it comes to the head-to-head divisional matchups.

Other reports by VgToday

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