The NFL just got a little more safe. On Tuesday, league owners voted to adopt new kickoff rules for the 2018 season and approved new ejection standards to accompany the new "use of helmet" rule.
In a series of tweets Tuesday afternoon, the NFL Football Operations account outlined the new rules.
If players lower their heads to initiate contact with their helmet, they will now be ejected under three standards:
If you're confused, don't worry. The wordy rule changes are made clearer in a video full of examples.
In addition to these changes, all ejections will now be reviewable by the officiating department.
There will also be a series of changes to kickoffs, with the hopes of benefiting player safety. The NFL's Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent tweeted, "These changes to the kickoff rules for the 2018 season are a product of hours of meetings & film review with @NFLLegends, coaches, players, and officials. Focused on reducing risk to players and making the game better."
The new rules include: no more running starts for kickoff coverage teams, kickoff teams must line up with five players on each side of the ball, two-man wedge blocks are no longer permitted, no blocking within the "setup zone" until the ball touches the ground (if it's not caught), and eight of 11 players on the return team must be in the "setup zone" within 15 yards of the ball.
The NFL Football Operations Twitter account also laid out all the changes to the kickoff rules in a helpful grid, which you can see below.