League owners approved the proposal to simplify the NFL's catch rule during the annual owners' meetings on Tuesday. The vote to pass the rule change was a unanimous decision (32-0), according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Below are the new rules of what defines a catch.

  1. Control of the ball.
  2. Two feet down or another body part.
  3. A football move such as a third step, reaching/extending for the line-to-gain, or the ability to perform such an act.

While the rule eliminates the "going-to-the-ground" element of the previous version, many believe it could result in an increase of fumbles throughout the league.



"I think it makes great sense," 49ers general manager John Lynch said on Monday via 49ers.com. "I think it will be much easier to officiate."

Lynch believes the competition committee watched several controversial plays involving catches and formed the new rules based off of those.

"I think they've done a nice job cleaning that up," Lynch said. "I'm sure there are going to be things that pop up because every time you tweak something there are unintended consequences that come from it. But I do think they've cleaned it up in terms of taking the 'going to the ground' part out. That just opened up Pandora's box."

One proposed rule change which was not approved was the proposal by the San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Chargers, and Arizona Cardinals that would have limited the number of 10 a.m. Pacific Time games in a season for West Coast teams to three. Last season, the 49ers had five such start times while the Seattle Seahawks had just one.

Below is a list of the rules and bylaws approved by NFL clubs on Tuesday.