NFL passes controversial 'helmet-crown' rule

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) is tackled by San Francisco 49ers nose tackle Isaac...

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) is tackled by San Francisco 49ers nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga (90) and defensive end Ray McDonald (91) during the first quarter in the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game in New Orleans, Louisiana, February 3, 2013. (REUTERS)

JOHN KRYK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:14 PM ET

Uneasy lies the league that spares a crown.

The NFL annual meeting concluded Wednesday morning with the passing of the last four of six proposed rules changes, including the controversial "crown of the helmet" rule.

It's now a 15-yard penalty for any player -- offence or defence -- to "initiate forcible contact" against another player (i.e., smash into him) using the top/crown of his helmet, when both are clearly outside the tackle box.

It is the first rule in the history of American football limiting a ball carrier's actions, outside of egregious penalties such as punching or facemask-yanking.


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