The 2013 NFL season is just around the corner and with the new season comes new rules for game days both ON and OFF the field. Below you can get all the details to make sure you are prepared when heading to the stadium. We also have a refresher on the new NFL rules for players, as outlined by a favorite Ravens blog – Russell Street Report, to get you up to speed before the first regular season snap!
New Rules for Fans
The NFL has issued a new bag policy for all NFL stadiums to help provide a safer environment and to decrease the time it takes to get into the stadiums. This policy is immediately in effect at all NFL stadiums.
Approved Bag Options
- Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC and do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12”. The bags may be hand-carried or have a shoulder strap. (Officially licensed NFL team logo clear plastic tote bag measuring 12” x 6” x 12” available through club merchandise outlets).
- One Gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar)
- Small clutch bag approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap. This can be carried separately or within a clear plastic bag.
Aside from the new NFL bag policy, M&T Bank Stadium and Fedex Field have a few new rules as well.
M&T Bank Stadium is now a smoke-free facility as required by Maryland State Law. There are no designated smoking areas inside M&T Bank Stadium. Designated smoking areas are located outside of Gates A, B, C, and D. Proceed to the designated smoking areas 25 feet or greater from the stadium entry gates. This policy also applies to electronic cigarettes or any alternative smoking product – they are not permitted. Guests who fail to comply with this policy may be ejected from the stadium.
Lot Parking at M&T Bank Stadium
This season there are new parking rules at the stadium lots. They will be implementing a “stacked” parking technique. Parking attendants will now direct vehicles to park in specific spots until each row is full. Except on Lots G/H for the first two hours.
Parking spaces are not allowed to be used for placement of any tailgating equipment nor can they be reserved for late-arriving members of a group. If a group of cars wishes to tailgate together they will need to enter the lot at the same time so they are able to park together.
For more information on the rules at M&T Bank Stadium please visit their Fan Guide!
The new rule for FedEx Field is that they are no longer allowing guests to bring seat cushions into the stadium.
For more information on the rules at Fed Ex Field please visit their Stadium Guide!
New Rules for Players
Abolishing the ”Tuck Rule” adopted in the 1999 season.
In 2013 it will now be ruled a fumble when a quarterback loses possession of the ball after a pump fake while bringing the ball back to his body.
Tight ends and H-backs will now be permitted to wear numbers 40-49.
In years past the leagues tight ends were only permitted to don jersey numbers 80-89.
“Peel-back” blocks will now result in 15-yard personal foul penalties anywhere on the field.
Previously, these type of blocks were permitted within the “tackle box.” A player makes a peel-back block when he is moving toward his goal line, approaches an opponent from behind or the side, and makes contact below the waist. The penalty will be 15 yards.
On field goal attempts, long snappers will now be considered defenseless players.
The defense can have no more than six players on one side of the ball at the snap (5 yard penalty), and players not on the line cannot push teammates into blockers (15 yard penalty).
Modifying the “no-challenge” rule
Adopted in the 2012 season to eliminate the automatic “no-review” penalty when a coach challenges a play that is automatically reviewed by the replay booth (turnovers, scoring plays, and any play inside of the 2:00 warning).
Teams will now be charged a time-out when a coach throws a challenge flag on a booth-reviewable play (but they get the time out back if the play is reviewed and overturned) as well as a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, but the play is still reviewed if the replay booth believes a review is necessary.
Any player at least three yards downfield or outside of the “tackle box” will be penalized 15 yards for leading with the helmet on hits.
Perhaps the most debate by owners came with the crown of the helmet hits rule, which will affect running backs the most. The vote was 31-1 with the Cincinnati Bengals voting against the new rule. This rule will no doubt affect the way ball carriers will play the game. It will now be a 15-yard penalty if a player who is more than three yards downfield or outside of the tackle box delivers a blow with the crown of his helmet. If the offensive and defensive player each lowers his head and uses the crown of the helmet to make contact, each will be penalized.
We hope these tips have you more ready than ever for a great season!!!!