Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

NCAA approves new football kickoff rule

Getty Images Getty Images
Shannon Reynolds | 14 April, 2018, 01:52

The Football Rules Committee made the proposal to continue efforts to increase the number of touchbacks during kickoffs since fewer injuries occur during kickoffs that result in touchbacks than on kickoffs that are returned.

That's because the NCAA's Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Friday approved new kickoff rules.

On Friday, the NCAA Football Rules Oversight Panel approved a rule that will allow for kick returners to call for a fair catch inside the 25-yard line and allow the team to begin an offensive series at the 25-yard line. But with so many incentives to start on a touchback, it's well within reason to wonder if football will have kickoffs at all within the next decade. All other kickoff rules remain the same. In 2012, kickoffs were moved up five yards to the 35-yard line, and touchbacks advanced the ball from the 20 to the 25, creating a greater incentive for return men to take a knee on kickoffs that reached the end zone. After a touchdown, the play clock will be set at 40 seconds to expedite the extra point or two-point conversion attempt. On top of that, a 10-second runoff of the game clock will be instituted following an instant replay being overturned when the game is inside one minute of either half if the correct ruling would not have stopped the clock.

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The rule is the latest attempt to ensure the safety of players on kickoff returns, which tend to be among the most violent plays in the game. For example, officials involved in the replay process could be located in a conference office.

-Leaping rules on field goals and extra points will closer resemble leaping rules on punts. Keep in mind, too, this is in addition to recent rule changes to kickoffs.

-Any 15-yard penalty on made field goals can be enforced on the kickoff. It is illegal to leap over the frame of the body of an opponent.

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