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Football 101: The Rules of NFL Football
Sudden Death
by Mark Lawrence

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A Day in the Life

Players & Positions
The Offense
The Center
Guards & Tackles
Tight Ends & Quarterbacks
Quarterbacks
Fullbacks & Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Offensive Variations
The Defense
Defensive Tackles
Defensive Ends
Linebackers
Cornerbacks
Safeties
Nickle & Dime packages
Defensive Variations
Special Teams
Officials

West Coast Offense
Bill Walsh
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Offensive Linemen
Quarter & Running Backs
WCO Principles

The I Formation
Origins and Playbook
Fullbacks

Diagrammed Plays

Defensive Alignments
The 4-3
The 3-4

Knees & Ligaments
Ligaments
Cartilage

The Draft
Best Player Available
Flooding & Grocery Cart
Combinations & Trading
Appendices

Free Agency

Salary Cap
Revenue Sharing
Contracts & Bonuses
Draft & Appendices
Goals & Incentives

NFL Football Rules
Officials
Definitions
Summary of Penalties
The Field
The Ball
The Coin Toss
Timing
Sudden Death
Two Minutes
Extra Points
Player Substitutions
Kickoffs
Kicks after Safety
Measuring
Position of Players at Snap
Use of Hands and Arms
The Forward Pass
Intentional Grounding
Protection of Passer
The Backward Pass
Fumbles
Kicks from Scrimmage
The Fair Catch
Fouls on Last Play
Spot of Enforcement
Double Foul
Penalty Enforced on Kickoff
Emergencies
Authority
Starting & Resuming Games
Unfair Acts
Removing Team from Field

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Sudden Death

1. The sudden death system of determining the winner shall prevail when score is tied at the end of the regulation playing time of all NFL games. The team scoring first during overtime play shall be the winner and the game automatically ends upon any score (by safety, field goal, or touchdown) or when a score is awarded by Referee for a palpably unfair act.

2. At the end of regulation time the Referee will immediately toss coin at center of field in accordance with rules pertaining to the usual pregame toss. The captain of the visiting team will call the toss prior to the coin being flipped.

3. Following a three-minute intermission after the end of the regulation game, play will be continued in 15- minute periods or until there is a score*. There is a two-minute intermission between subsequent periods. The teams change goals at the start of each period. Each team has three time outs per half and all general timing provisions apply as during a regular game. Disqualified players are not allowed to return.

*Exception: In preseason and regular season games there shall be a maximum of 15 minutes of sudden death with two time outs instead of three. General provisions that apply for the fourth quarter will prevail. Try not attempted if touchdown scored. If there is no score in the 15 minutes, the game shall end in a tie.


Timing in Final Two Minutes of Each Half

1. On kickoff, clock does not start until the ball has been legally touched by player of either team in the field of play. (In all other cases, clock starts with kickoff.)

2. A team cannot buy an excess time out for a penalty. However, a fourth time out is allowed without penalty for an injured player, who must be removed immediately. A fifth time out or more is allowed for an injury and a five-yard penalty is assessed if the clock was running. Additionally, if the clock was running and the score is tied or the team in possession is losing, the ball cannot be put in play for at least 10 seconds on the fourth or more time out. The half or game can end while those 10 seconds are run off on the clock.

3. If the defensive team is behind in the score and commits a foul when it has no time outs left in the final 40 seconds of either half, the offensive team can decline the penalty for the foul and have the time on the clock expire.

4. Fouls that occur in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter as well as the last two minutes of the first half will result in the clock starting on the snap.


Try

1. After a touchdown, the scoring team is allowed a try during one scrimmage down. The ball may be spotted anywhere between the inbounds lines, two or more yards from the goal line. The successful conversion counts one point by kick; two points for a successful conversion by touchdown; or one point for a safety.

2. The defensive team never can score on a try. As soon as defense gets possession or the kick is blocked or a touchdown is not scored, the try is over.

3. Any distance penalty for fouls committed by the defense that prevent the try from being attempted can be enforced on the succeeding try or succeeding kickoff. Any foul committed on a successful try will result in a distance penalty being assessed on the ensuing kickoff.

4. Only the fumbling player can recover and advance a fumble during a try.


Players-Substitutions

1. Each team is permitted 11 men on the field at the snap.

2. Unlimited substitution is permitted. However, players may enter the field only when the ball is dead. Players who have been substituted for are not permitted to linger on the field. Such lingering will be interpreted as unsportsmanlike conduct.

3. Players leaving the game must be out of bounds on their own side, clearing the field between the end lines, before a snap or free kick. If player crosses end line leaving field, it is delay of game (five-yard penalty).

4. Offensive substitutes who remain in the game must move onto the field as far as the inside of the field numerals before moving to a wide position.

5. With the exception of the last two minutes of either half, the offensive team, while in the process of substitution or simulated substitution, is prohibited from rushing quickly to the line and snapping the ball with the obvious attempt to cause a defensive foul; i.e., too many men on the field.


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Copyright © 2002-2005 Mark Lawrence. All rights reserved. Reproduction is strictly prohibited.
Email me, mark@calsci.com, with suggestions, additions, broken links.
Revised Saturday, 20-Aug-2005 14:49:11 PDT

Investing
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