Hall of Fame approves revision to allow up to nine enshrinees

Over the next three Pro Football Hall of Fame election cycles, the maximum class size could reach as high as nine enshrinees.

The Hall’s board of trustees on Thursday announced the approval of changes to selection process bylaws, most notably a revision that will allow the election of up to three from the seniors category for the next three cycles. The revision means the maximum class size — beginning with the Class of 2023 and running through 2024 and 2025 — will be nine potential individuals.

The change to increase the amount of senior finalists for the next three classes is an indication of “the Hall’s desire to assure that all worthy candidates receive an opportunity for Hall of Fame consideration,” a HOF press release read, in part.

Seniors (players whose careers ended more than 25 years ago) will now be provided a “more comprehensive examination” for potential induction, but there is no guarantee that three will be elected each year.

Another bylaws change likewise involves the seniors nominees, as 12 seniors will now reach the semifinalist stage following two reduction votes, which leads to 12 candidates being presented to the seniors committee.

“Members of the selection committee have made it clear they wanted to get more seniors ‘in the room’ for discussion,” said Jim Porter, president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in a statement. “From those initial conversations, the team at the Hall of Fame overseeing the selection process worked with the board to create a path for those committee discussions that could lead to possible enshrinement for more seniors.”

Another change for the next three election cycles will see candidates from the coaches category and the contributor category merged. One finalist will be eligible per class from the new combined group.

Therefore, the new max class size of nine would include up to five modern-era players, as many as three seniors and up to one coach/contributor.

The Hall’s board of trustees reviews bylaws for the selection committee each year.

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