Rules the Independents played by
*Rules the Independents Noted by Asterisk
- Game length of 90 Minutes.
- Field Length of 110 yards with no end zones and 53 yards wide.
- *Goal Posts 18.5 feet apart with a crossbar 10 feet high.
- *Goal Posts stood on the Goal line.
- Field Goal was 5 points.
- Touchdown was worth 4 points.
- Goal After was worth 2 points.
- *Safety was worth 2 points.
- Kickoffs did not have to travel 10 yards, so the kicking team often would nudge the ball and pick it up and run with it.
- *Flying Wedge plays were banned, players could not move forward until the ball was snapped.
- Game length reduced to 70 minutes.
- *Linesman and Field Judge were added to the Referee and Umpire.
- Touchdowns are worth 5 points.
- Field Goals are worth 5 points.
- *Goal Kick is worth 1 point.
- *Forward Pass is legalized.
- Forward pass could not be over center (or with 5 yards to the left or right of center) and if the pass was not caught the defending team took possession at the spot of the pass.
- *A Forward Pass over the goal line that was not caught was a touchback and the ball went to the defending team at the 20 yard line.
- *Neutral Zone of 1 yard was created.
- First Down must be reached in 3 plays and the length was increased to 10 yards from 5.
- *Time of game reduced from 70 minutes to 60 with two 30 minute halves.
- *Field Goals are worth 3 points.
- *Passer was allowed to throw over center.
- *Passer must pass from at least 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage.
- The pass could not travel more than 20 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.
- *Touchdowns are worth 6 points.
- *Field Dimensions set to 100 yards long with 10 yard end zones.
- *First Down must be reached in 4 plays instead of 3, still 10 yards.
- *Forward Pass limit of 20 yards was removed.
Other Rules of Note
*- Coin toss to determine Defending and Receiving Teams.
*- After a team was scored upon, they had the decision to kick or receive the ball.
*1927 - Rock Island Independents Franchise Denied by NFL.
1933 - Rules were changed to allow for a more offensive game
- Forward pass could be thrown from anywhere behind the line, not just 5 yards back.
- Goal Posts were moved up to the goal line.
- The ball was put in play 10 yards from sideline when the ball was down within 5 yards of the sideline.
Rule Changes found in "Pigskin - The Early Years of Pro Football" - Robert W. Peterson and the OxfordUniversity Press.
Below - Cover of the Spalding's 1920 Rule Book - American Sports Publishing Company 1920