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NFL Coin toss rules

Discussion in 'NFL Football Forum' started by Patsrock, Nov 15, 2011.

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  1. Patsrock

    Patsrock Rookie

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    NFL Rules Digest: Coin Toss
    The toss of coin will take place within three minutes of kickoff in center of field. The toss will be called by the visiting captain before the coin is flipped. The winner may choose one of two privileges and the loser gets the other:
    (a) Receive or kick
    (b) Goal his team will defend
    Immediately prior to the start of the second half, the captains of both teams must inform the officials of their respective choices. The loser of the original coin toss gets first choice.



    The last part makes no sense to me or I am just reading it wrong. So technically the team that loses the coin toss could actually get the ball to start both halves.

    Example Bills win toss elect to kick to Pats, but according to the rule the Pats then have the choice of what to do at the beginning of the 2nd half.

    So am I reading this wrong?
  2. NEP4Life

    NEP4Life Rookie

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    I read it the same way you do, but so what? :confused:
  3. Patsrock

    Patsrock Rookie

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    Seems a little weird that no team has taken advantage of this.
  4. Dufflebagz

    Dufflebagz Rookie

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    Lol, you can't get the ball to start both halves. You have 3 options when you win the coin toss
    1. Kick
    2. Recieve
    3. Which side to defend

    If you choose to kick or recieve the other team chooses which side to defend.

    If you choose which side to defend the other team chooses whether to kick or recieve.
  5. NEP4Life

    NEP4Life Rookie

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    That's not the way the rule is written.
  6. PatsFaninAZ

    PatsFaninAZ Rookie

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    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: Nov 15, 2011
  7. Ron Sellers

    Ron Sellers Rookie

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    That's the old set of rules from before teams could defer if they won the toss. Prior to being able to defer that won the coin toss did anything other than elect to receive for the very reason you outlined above - it would mean that they would kick off at the start of both halves if they did. That in essence made the 'choice' automatic.
  8. BradfordPatsFan

    BradfordPatsFan Rookie

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    I want to say this happened in a Patriots game in the early-mid 1990's. Say 93-95 somewhere.
  9. TheSolderKing

    TheSolderKing Rookie

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    Heads I win Tails you lose:cool::D:)
  10. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Prior to being able to defer the winner of the coin toss could choose to receive (or kickoff), or which end of the field to defend. When football first started being played a hundred years ago games were very low scoring (3-0, 8-6, etc.) and field position was an integral part of the strategy. The Buddy Ryan philosophy on offense (just don't turn the ball over, punt, and let the defense do it's thing) was prevalent so it wasn't unusual to elect to kick off, and even in later years it wasn't unusual to elect to want to have the wind at your back for your QB, kicker and punt team in the 4th quarter.

    However, as you pointed out there was an occasional gaffe where a captain would elect to kick off rather than defend a certain goal. The most well known that I can think of happened in an AFL championship game, but the guy who made that call got off the hook as his team won despite his blunder.

    There was one game that I can recall, I think it was the year after the Pats lost to the Bears in the Super Bowl. Pats were playing a very low scoring game in cold, somewhat windy conditions, and it went to OT. Tampa Bay won the coin toss and Bucs HC Ray Perkins instructed his team captains to kick off with the idea of gaining and controlling better field position. Tony Eason didn't do anything spectacular, but after about three or four first downs the Pats kicked a FG, and Raymond Berry's Pats walked off with a win. Perkins was out of a job at the end of the year as HC due in part to losing a game in OT where his decision making resulted in his team's offense never having a chance to get on the field to win the game.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
  11. TheGodInAGreyHoodie

    TheGodInAGreyHoodie Rookie

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    Actually you have four choices.

    4. You can choose to defer.

    And in theory a team could recieve the ball at the start of both halfs.

    Nobody ever chooses #1 or #3.

    Either you choose to recieve in which case the other team chooses to recieve and you then get to choose sides.

    Or you chose to defer and then the other team elects to recieve and you choose sides.

    However a team could instead choose a side. Then the other team could elect to recieve. At the start of the second half the other team could once again choose to receive. And then you would get to choose what goal to defend. And in theory a team could defend the same goal to start both halfs.
  12. Section103

    Section103 Rookie

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    #95 Jersey

    I'm almost positive it did. Parcells era and I want to say it was a windy day in Buffalo.
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