NFL Approves New Kickoff Format

  • NFL owners approved a new hybrid kickoff rule on Monday, according to a source. After years of tweaked turned one of the game's most exciting moments into a "dead, ceremonial play," the league hopes the change will lead to fewer injuries and more returns. The format originated in the XFL. In 2024, kickers will continue to kick from the 35-yard line, but the other 10 players on the kickoff team will line up at the receiving team's 40-yard line. At least nine members of the return team will line up in a "setup zone" between the 35- and 30-yard lines. Up to two returners can line up in a "landing zone" between the goal line and the 20-yard line. No one other than the kicker and returner(s) can move until the ball hits the ground or hits a player inside the landing zone. No fair catches will be allowed. The rule change on kickoffs should mean more kicks returned in 2024 and better starting spots for offenses.

    Mar 26 · Source via
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