Affects video reviews of all scoring plays and what happens when a player's helmet comes off. Play stops if the ball carriers helmet comes off. If a non-ball carrier's helmet comes off he can't take part in the play. Comments?
I don't know what happened last year that resulted in helmets flying off so often. There wwas some speculation by the TSN commentators that some players were using a different brand of strap instead of the one that came with the helmet, and the snaps weren't secure enough. I have no idea if that was true or not; it might have just been a manufacturing flaw in the snaps used. But no matter why the straps were coming undone so easily, I suspect that this rule change will result in players finding a way to fix the problem.
I can see players deliberately attempting to rip their opponents' helmets off in an attempt to take them out of the play. In some ways it reminds me of the early days of the composite sticks in the NHL. An easy way to get an advantage was to snap an opponent's stick in half; it didn't take long before the league decided that that action should result in a penalty. Hopefully Tom Higgins has already thought of this and has told the officials to call a penalty (unsportsmanlike conduct?) when they see it.
As for the automatic reviews after a scoring play, I'm all in favour of it. Most reviews will be complete before the touchdown celebration is finished. ("Did he cross the line with possession? Yes he did. Call it down; it's a touchdown. Hmmm, number 86 is out-of-step with the other four guys. I'd give it 9.7 for artistic, but only 7.8 for execution.") And the close ones, well, getting the right call is worth a slight delay, isn't it?
Hey.. I like the helmet-related rule change.
A friend wrote a little commentary on it if you are interested... He pretty much agrees with my thoughts.
I'm in favour of these changes and yes a little delay is definitely worth it to get it right.