11-15-2011, 07:32 PM
In the Starting Line-up
Join Date: Sep 2006
Re: NFL Coin toss rules
That is the old rule. Apparently, the NFL digest on line hasn't been changed since 2008.
Basically, the rule was changed precisely for the reason you describe. Under the old rule, if you won the toss, you had to take the ball. If you won the toss and elected not to take the ball, the visiting team could choose the ball to start the second half. So, the toss wasn't a decision at all -- the winner always had to take the ball whether it wanted it or not. There was simply no option for you if you won the toss but wanted the ball to start the second half. The only way to get the ball to start the second half was to lose the toss.
Anyway, here's the new rule, since 2008:
TOSS OF COIN
Article 2 Not more than three minutes before the kickoff of the first half, the Referee, in the presence of both
team’s captains (limit of six per team, all of whom must be uniformed members of the Active List) shall toss
a coin at the center of the field. Prior to the Referee’s toss, the call of “heads” or “tails” must be made by
the captain of the visiting team, or by the captain designated by the Referee if there is no home team.
Unless the winner of the toss defers his choice to the second half, he must choose one of two privileges,
and the loser is given the other. The two privileges are:
(a) The opportunity to receive the kickoff, or to kick off; or
(b) The choice of goal his team will defend.
Penalty: For failure to comply: Loss of coin-toss option for both halves and overtime, and loss of 15
yards from the spot of the kickoff for the first half only.
OFFICIAL NFL PLAYING RULES 15
For the second half, the captain who lost the pregame toss is to have the first choice of the two privileges listed
in (a) or (b), unless one of the teams lost its first and second half options pursuant to 4-2-1, or unless the
winner of the pregame toss deferred his choice to the second half, in which case he must choose (a) or
(b) above. Immediately prior to the start of the second half, the captains of both teams must inform the
Referee of their respective choices.
A captain’s first choice from any alternative privileges listed above is final and not subject to change.
Last edited by PatsFaninAZ; 11-15-2011 at 07:32 PM..