Published: Wed, May 24, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

National Football League owners add one IR return option, reduce penalties for player celebrations


Because NFL rules prohibit stadiums from hosting Super Bowls during their inaugural season, owners made a decision to relocate the game to Raymond James Stadium, which has seen more than $150 million in renovations that have included video board and sound updates as well as concourse improvements. Offensive demonstrations, celebrations that are prolonged and delay the game, and celebrations directed at an opponent, will still be penalized, the letter said, in order continue "sportsmanship, clean competition, and setting good examples for young athletes". Playoff games also will use 10-minute time blocks in overtime but won't end in ties.

If past year had been played under such rules, the playoffs would have looked different, as Tampa Bay's late loss to the Raiders would have ended in a tie, and would have put the Bucs in the postseason instead of the Lions. Over the last five years, with the 15-minute period in use, the league has averaged about one tie game each season.

The Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers now have until August 25 to prove their respective facilities are on track to host the Super Bowl, which is the most watched television event of the year in the United States.

"I think the players will prove him wrong on that", Goodell said. Tampa has hosted four Super Bowls, the last coming in 2009.

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"I know he'd like to do more, he looks like he can do more", Coach Mike Mularkey said. Group celebrations, going to the ground, and using the football as a prop are no longer going to be met with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The 40-second play clock will begin once an official signals a touchdown and teams will have to snap the ball for their extra-point play by the end of the clock.

LA will now host the Super Bowl in 2022.

League officials will review celebrations during the preseason and anticipate providing guidance as the regular season progresses.

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