This offseason the NFL will overhaul its Rube Goldberg Machine of a catch rule, hopefully into something mere mortals can understand. Maybe next season you’ll actually get to cheer when your favorite player makes an extraordinary catch, instead of waiting to react until the referees review the play and signal that it’s actually a catch.

Last week NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced that he was forming a new committee to study the catch rules, and now USA Today has details on its makeup:

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Former coaches Ken Whisenhunt, Jim Schwartz and Joe Philbin join former general manager Bill Polian, former NFL receiver James Thrash and Tom Finken, a former NFL side judge who currently trains game officials, on the committee.

NFL VP of officiating Dean Blandino said that the committee will look at plays going back 20 years and speak with current players like Dez Bryant and Calvin Johnson, and sounds pretty open to the possibility of major changes to the rule:

“We don’t know what will come out of it,” Blandino told USA TODAY Sports on Thursday. “Maybe there’s something the (competition) committee hasn’t considered in the past.”

The NFL has tweaked the rules dictating what constitutes a catch numerous times—most recently during the past offseason—but the rule clearly needs more than just tweaking. Our suggestion? Simplify the rule in such a way that it a) is crystal clear whether something is a catch or not, and b) increases the amount of catches in the game:

  1. You have secured clear possession of ball with either one hand or two. No juggling. We hate jugglers.
  2. You have both feet down, or the standard one knee/one elbow/one buttcheek down.
  3. That’s it.

The catch committee will make its recommendations to the competition committee in March.

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Photo via Getty


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