Pro Bowl to let scoring team keep possession, face fourth down

Pro-Bowl

NFC running back Ezekiel Elliott (22), of the Dallas Cowboys, gets away from AFC linebacker T.J. Watt (90), of the Pittsburgh Steelers, during the second half of the NFL Pro Bowl football game Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (Mark LoMoglio/AP)

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Pro Bowl is adding a new twist that could reward teams for taking a risk.

The NFL announced Tuesday that its upcoming all-star game in Orlando will feature a rule change that allows a team to keep the ball after it scores. The scoring team can retain possession at its own 25-yard line and face a fourth-and-15 play. Pick up a first down, and the offence gets a new set of downs. Fail to gain 15 yards, and it’s a turnover on downs and good field position for the other conference.

The scoring team also could elect to give the opponent the ball at the opponent’s 25-yard line, much like a kickoff that results in a touchback.

The 2020 Pro Bowl also tweaked rules regarding pre-snap penalties.

It is no longer a a false start if a flexed, eligible receiver in a two-point stance flinches or picks up one foot as long as his other foot remains partially on the ground. He also must reset for a second before the snap. A receiver who fits this exception is not considered to be in motion.

It is a false start if all 11 offensive players are set for at a full second and any flexed, eligible receiver breaks his stance by picking up both feet.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.