This week the NCAA Football Rules Committee met this week to discuss new rules to improve player safety and change the game. Proposed rules will be accepted or rejected by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel on March 6. Below are the ten rules proposed by the committee this year.
A rule to eject players who target and contact defenseless players above the shoulders was a unanimous proposal by the committee. The rule would automatically eject a player flagged for “targeting” as well as impose a 15-yard penalty.
This proposal mirrors the current rule for fighting. If the foul is called in the first half the player will be ejected from the remaining time in the first half and the entire second half. If the foul is called in the second half the player will miss the remaining time in the second half and the first half of the next game.
The action by the committee continues a progression to address dangerous contact through its rules. Targeting, which was initially approved by the committee as a separate foul in 2008, has been generally successful in terms of officiating application, which made the committee feel comfortable in adding to the penalty.
“The general consensus is that the officials on the field make this call properly the vast majority of the time and know what the committee is looking for with this foul,” said Rogers Redding, secretary-editor of the rules committee and national coordinator of officials for College Football Officiating, LLC. “This move is being made to directly change player behavior and impact player safety.”
The targeting penalty will be reviewable through instant replay. The official must have conclusive evidence that the player should not be ejected to overrule the call on the field. A post-game conference will review each targeting penalty and may add further sanctions to the punishment.
This is a great addition. I love defense and derive perverse pleasure from watching a snot-bubble hit. However, with the long term effects of concussions becoming apparent it is important the NCAA does what it can to limit needless player injuries. Player safety should come first. This rule should be approved.
2. Blocking Below the Waist
The committee is trying to simplify the rules on blocking. Previously, whether you could block a player from the side or back depended on where they lined up on the defensive line of scrimmage. The new rule says no matter where a player lines up you can only block them from the front and the block must be above the waist.
This rule too is designed to protect players so it is a good thing. It is terrible to see a college kids career end because he got taken out at the knees.
3. Soccer Magic Spray Rule
There will be 10 seconds run off clock when the clock is stopped for an injury with one minute or less left in a half.
Teams that fake injuries to stop the clock or slow down an offense should suffer the utmost ravages of Hell. However, this rules still has bugs to work out. I don’t like a team losing 10 seconds for a real injury. Plus, the way the rule has been presented so far would incentivise teams to fake injuries in the final minute if they wanted to bleed clock.
A team can only stop the clock by spiking the ball if there are three seconds or more on the clock.
I hate this rule with every fiber of my being. Why? What is the point? Is the committee trying to curb last second field goals? Or encourage last second Hail Marys? This is a terrible rule and should be buried in the yard and forgotten like my Zubaz pants.
5. Player Changes Number
If a player changes their jersey number during a game that change must be reported to the referee and the referee will make an ingame announcement.
6. One Player per Number per Position
Each player, on the same team, at the same position is required to have a different number.
Another good rule. This seems so basic it is hard to believe it isn’t already in the rule book.
The NCAA feels no teams uniform should blend into their Smurf-turf. (Lookin’ at you Boise State) Michael covers this rule in greater detail here.
8. Referee Walkie-talkies
On-field officiating crews will be allowed to use electronic communications.
Why not, its the 21st century. Officials should be able to zip around the field on Hoverboards.
9. Big 12 gets 8th
The Big 12 is going to experiment with an 8 man officiating crew instead of the standard 7 man crew.
The eighth official will be located in the backfield opposite the referee and will be required to load all the officiating gear onto the bus.
10. More Instant Replay
Instant replay will be available to adjust the clock at the end of the first and third quarter and not just the end of each half.
Because games aren’t currently long enough. I understand sometimes wind direction is an important component in a game and I suppose this will allow/deny the occasional end-of-quarter field goal but you’ve gotta be a nerd to get excited about this rule.
What do you think? What are the good proposals and which should be avoided? Share your opinion below.