The return of high school, college, and NFL football is quickly approaching. It’s a joyous time of year, but fans are still sitting and waiting for the season to begin. So to help pass the time and get even more ready for the season, LWOS presents nine of the weirdest NFL rules.
Nine of the Weirdest NFL Rules
9. Consecutive Timeouts
Many sort of know this rule from playing Madden. The rule states that a team may not call more than one timeout during a single dead ball period. A dead ball period is the time when the ball is, well, dead, such as before a kickoff or PAT, or between plays. What many may not know about this rule is that doing so results in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and 15 yards for the other team. Don’t be too aggressive while trying to ice the kicker.
8. Automatic Coin Toss Loss
Everyone knows about the coin toss. The two teams send out their captains to participate in a coin toss to decide who gets possession and which way each team will be going. There are specific guidelines for the coin toss though. There can only be six captains per team and all captains must be active, in full uniform, and ready for the coin toss three minutes for kickoff. If a team violates any of the rules, they’re assessed a delay of game penalty resulting in 15 yards from the spot of the kick and a forfeit of the coin toss.
7. Catching Kickoffs Out Of Bounds
Pretty much anyone who watches football knows that a kickoff going out of bounds without being touched is a penalty against the kicker. It also gives the receiving team the ball at their own 40-yard line. However, if any part of a player is out of bounds and he is the first to field the ball then the same rule applies. Ty Montgomery took advantage of this rule last season in a Week 3 game against the Lions.
6. 9 Point Overtime Win
This one is as much of a weird rule as a weird occurrence for an overtime football game. With the NFL’s overtime rules that give the opposing team a chance if the first drive of overtime results in a field goal, theoretically a team could kick a field goal and then score on defense and win by 9. Again, this one isn’t really a weird rule. It’s just a strange occurrence you wouldn’t typically think of with an overtime football game.
5. Fair Kick Catch
The fair kick catch is one of the most interesting rules on the book. If a fair catch is called on a kickoff or a punt, the receiving team has the option to take possession like normal; or they can choose to take a free kick. There is no snap and the defense has to line up 10 yards away. It’s been attempted as recently as 2013. However, there hasn’t been a successful attempt since 1976 when Ray Wersching hit a 45-yard field goal.
4. The Conversion Safety
The conversion safety, more commonly known as the one point safety, occurs when a team defending a PAT or two point conversion commits an act that would result in a safety, like recovering the ball outside the end zone, running into the end zone, and being tackled, or knocking a loose ball out of the back or side of the end zone. There have been two major examples of this in the NCAA with Texas converting a one point safety against Texas A&M in 2004 and again in the 2013 Fiesta Bowl where Oregon scored a conversion safety against Kansas State. The conversion safety was even rarer in the NFL before a 2015 rule that allowed the defense to take possession on extra points, but there still hasn’t been one in the NFL since the 1940s.
3. Disqualifying The Top 2 Quarterbacks
Following a game between the Eagles and Redskins with a ton of injuries in 1990, the NFL adjusted rules to allow for teams to have a third string quarterback ready for games. There’s one downfall to this rule though. If the third string guy plays at any point before the end of the third quarter, then the starter and backup are both ineligible for the remainder of the game.
2. A Snap Between The Quarterback’s Legs
And we’re talking about quarterbacks again, but this one is even stranger. If a QB is lined up under center and the ball in snapped between his legs as well, the quarterback must be the first player to touch it. If an offensive or defensive player touches it before the quarterback, it’s a dead ball. The offense is charged with a false start penalty.
1. Possession After a Touchdown
And finally the strangest rule of all. A team can retain possession after a touchdown. This isn’t something you’ll probably ever see in the NFL again, but it is still technically a rule. Contrary to popular belief, the team that was scored on gets to decide whether they’d like to kick of receive. It’s accepted now that teams always want to receive after giving up a touchdown. If for some odd reason the coach wanted to kick it to the team that just scored on them; then they could.