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NFL tweaks its replay rules again

In-game officials will be in contact with Dean Blandino and the rules will clearly list which plays can't be reviewed.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL approved some changes to its replay rules in an effort to add clarity to what can and can't be reviewed, as well as an expanded role for the league's officiating control center in New York during games. The changes, which were proposed during the owner's meetings in Charlotte, were approved Tuesday morning.

The most visible change to the system is a clearly defined set of plays that are not reviewable. Anything that doesn't fall under this umbrella can be looked at. Penalties and other plays considered to be judgment calls for officials will remain ineligible for replay reviews.

The only new addition to the list of things that can be reviewed are four aspects of game administration. Penalty enforcement, proper down, spot of a foul and the status of the game clock are now reviewable.

The change further empowers NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino and senior director of officiating Alberto Riveron. Consultation between the officiating department and in-game referees will now cover certain calls, such as marking of the football, enforcement of penalty yardage and game-clock operations (to help prevent mistakes like the one made during a Steelers-Chargers game last October when officials mistakenly ran the clock for an extra 18 seconds with just over two minutes remaining. The league instituted this change during last year's playoffs and liked the results.

You can see the full list of changes here:

The change to the rulebook stems from a proposal made by the Baltimore Ravens, which was later withdrawn and transformed by the league's competition committee into a "more moderate" proposal, according to ESPN's Kevin Seifert.

The new change to the instant replay rules is an attempt to clean up a rulebook that has become increasingly complicated. The goal is to make the rules easier to understand for everyone.

The NFL has made an effort in recent years to begin a long-term streamlining of the rulebook with many coaches, including Bill O'Brien of the Houston Texans, Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Gary Kubiak of the Denver Broncos all admitting to Seifert that they're often confused by the rules.