New rules proposed by NCAA rules committee

Submitted by dnak438 on February 13th, 2013 at 2:30 PM

The NCAA Rules Committee has made some new recommendations for changes to the NCAA football rulebook. (More here

Most controversial is that "targeting" would result in a 15 yard penalty and the ejection of the offending player. This would be added to the existing rules, which are:

  • Rule 9, Article 3: "No player shall target and initiate contact against an opponent with the crown (top) of his helmet. When in question, it is a foul."
  • Rule 9, Article 4: "No player shall target and initiate contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent with the helmet, forearm, elbow or shoulder. When in question, it is a foul."

Apparently,

The proposed rule will mirror the penalty for fighting. If the foul occurs in the first half of a game, the player is ejected for the remainder of the game. If the foul occurs in the second half or overtime of a game, the player is ejected for the remainder of the game and the first half of the next contest.

Video replay would be allowed to overturn the ejection.

Less controversial, probably, are the other recommendations:

  • To make blocks below the waist from the side and back illegal, but legal if the blocked player is facing the player blocking below the waist.
  • To add a 10-second runoff with less than a minute remaining in either half when the sole reason for the clock to stop is an injury.
  • To establish three seconds as the minimum amount of time required to be on the game clock in order to spike the ball to stop the clock. If one or two seconds remain on the clock, there is only time for the offense to run one more play.
  • To require a player that changes numbers during the game to report this to the referee, who will announce this.
  • To only allow one player number to be worn by the same team and participate at the same position (e.g., two quarterbacks on the same team are not allowed to have the same number).
  • To require teams to have either their jersey or pants contrast in color to the playing field.
  • To allow the use of electronic communication by the on-field officiating crew after successful experimentation by the Southeastern Conference. This is not a required piece of equipment but will allow officiating crews to use this tool.
  • To allow the Big 12 Conference to experiment with using an eighth official on the field in conference games. This official would be placed in the backfield opposite the referee.
  • To allow instant replay to adjust the clock at the end of each quarter. Previously this provision was only in place for the end of each half.

At the moment these are just proposals; they will be voted on in under a month (March 6).

Ejection seems extreme to me; I would prefer to warn a first-time offender and then perhaps eject him if he continues to target in a way that is dangerous. It will be difficult in some cases for referees to determine intent (which it seems to me is part of the rule as currently stated: "target and initiate contact").

Comments

turtleboy

February 13th, 2013 at 4:20 PM ^

1. College refs can be good at times, but at times they also aren't very good at reffing.

2. College players can be good tacklers at times, but at times also aren't the best at tackling. 

3. I can imagine general over-enthusiasm meets college-tackling meets college-reffing resulting in more than a few controversial calls/ejections in the future.

 

Erik_in_Dayton

February 13th, 2013 at 2:38 PM ^

Officials seem really bad at deciding whether a guy meant to lead with the crown of his head (or hit the head of an offensive player) or whether it just happened by accident.  It's hard to be a 6' safety and tackle a 5'8" running back without hitting him in the head sometimes, but refs don't always seem to appreciate that. 

ChopBlock

February 13th, 2013 at 3:17 PM ^

Didn't we see a bunch of crazy targetting calls in Nebraska games last year (UM-Nebraska and the Big 10 Championship Game)? I certainly don't want players to be ejected automatically. Of course, if there's something particularly vicious, the option already is (and should be) there to eject the offending player.

UMFoster

February 13th, 2013 at 2:39 PM ^

You can't hit with a shoulder pad or forearm to the helmet? I can understand helmet to helmet being a penalty but c'mon. It's not always done on purpose. Players are flying around and sometimes you can't avoid it.

dnak438

February 13th, 2013 at 2:54 PM ^

It's intentional contact (which is what "initiating contact" and "targeting" imply to me) to the head with the shoulder pad or forearm which is illegal. But that's the problem; at high speeds it is often difficult to impossible to determine whether it's intentional targeting or unintentional contact.

MQTBlue

February 13th, 2013 at 2:42 PM ^

I don't remember what the time was in the game but I feel like the 10 second run off could have helped us when we played SC. I thought one of their players got injured and it ended up helping them save a bit of time.

EGD

February 13th, 2013 at 4:21 PM ^

I have difficulty envisioning how that will work in practice. 

Say a team makes a first down, and then the runner is tackled in-bounds.  Under NCAA rules, the clock must stop, and then re-start once the chains are moved.  Now if the clock re-starts at :02, the offense must run a play--they cannot spike the ball  (thus preventing the opportunity to run the FG team on, for instance)?  I don't like that, but I could live with that change.

Now, let's say a team completes a pass with the clock running.  They begin lining up and decide to spike the ball.  Say the clock is approaching 3 seconds when the team snaps the ball.  Does this mean that if they did not get the snap off with at least 3 seconds remaining, then the game is automatically over if the QB spikes the ball?  That's how I interpret it.  That seems like an injustice waiting to happen.

 

umchicago

February 13th, 2013 at 6:33 PM ^

i've always thought the spike rule was stupid.  for years i've been saying they should just have a timeout-like signal.  so after a play, the offense could signal the ref, then just have some time (ie. 10 sec) run off the clock. then the clock would stop until the snap.  this whole running up the field, waiting for the O and D to get set, then spike the ball seems silly to me.

Yeoman

February 13th, 2013 at 5:11 PM ^

It's patterned after the rules adopted in basketball for end-of-quarter inbounds plays. Catch-and-shoot takes a certain amount of time, by rule, so it isn't dependent on the reaction time of the timekeeper (or, more likely, his eagerness to stop the clock).

I don't know if three seconds is right, but I can see why they'd want a rule like this.

morepete

February 13th, 2013 at 3:08 PM ^

With this rule change in place, no coach or player can decide to take out another without fear of taking themselves out. For too long, it's been fine to try to kill the other player and only get a 15-yarder. I've also thought that two personal fouls should result in ejection, much like two yellow cards in soccer. 

oHOWiHATEohioSTATE

February 13th, 2013 at 4:00 PM ^

is with how often a ball carrier lowers their head. One could argue that nearly 1/3 of helmet to helmet hits are actually the offensive players fault for lower his head to brace himself for the hit. Yet the defender always gets the penalty.

M Fanfare

February 13th, 2013 at 4:04 PM ^

Lol at the rule regulating that a player who changes his number during the game has to report it to the referee, who will announce it. Aimed squarely at Kiffykins.

UMxWolverines

February 13th, 2013 at 4:14 PM ^

There's so many rules now there is no way the refs can look for all this stuff. That's why it seems like there's so many ridiculous calls lately. The game needs to become simpler, not even more complicated.

1. The 10 second runoff is already a stupid rule, and now if a player gets injured with less than ten seconds left, the game is over? Okay. Why?

2. You can't spike the ball with less than three seconds? Why?

MikeCohodes

February 13th, 2013 at 4:30 PM ^

say you're the offense, down two, and you get in to field goal range with 8 seconds left. But on the play that got you there, a player on your team is laying down with a clearly broken leg like Toussant's from this past year so he's obviously not faking the injury.  You're telling me that in that situation, through no fault of your own, they will run off 10 seconds and not even give you the chance to take the FG to win the game?

That has to be the dumbest rule I have ever heard.

I get that it is trying to prevent people from flopping to stop the clock, but if its a real obvious injury the refs should have some leeway to make that call or not.

Sambojangles

February 13th, 2013 at 4:31 PM ^

So Sparty (and any other green-colored team) won't be able to do all-green uniforms? 

Aesthetically, I like this, because solid-color football uniforms suck, and it's even better that Sparty's potential alternate uniform combinations will be illegal as well.

LSAClassOf2000

February 13th, 2013 at 5:39 PM ^

Thinking back on a story or two that came out during this season, this relatively minor one caught my eye as well:

"To require a player that changes numbers during the game to report this to the referee, who will announce this."

My only question would be this - how will Lane Kiffin be able to run a two-point conversion now with his reserve quarterback in the game?

YoOoBoMoLloRoHo

February 13th, 2013 at 5:41 PM ^

This targeting becomes too subjective. Why isn't the rule simply that tacklers must initiate an arm-wrapping motion when tackling? The core issue is the "kill shot" - not clean, hard tackling.

Every tackling drill and coaching feedback should focus on proper tackling instead of hitting. Punish the teams/coaches that encourage or even allow the "kill shot" technique. Put the onus on coaches to train kids to form tackle.

YoOoBoMoLloRoHo

February 13th, 2013 at 5:41 PM ^

This targeting becomes too subjective. Why isn't the rule simply that tacklers must initiate an arm-wrapping motion when tackling? The core issue is the "kill shot" - not clean, hard tackling.

Every tackling drill and coaching feedback should focus on proper tackling instead of hitting. Punish the teams/coaches that encourage or even allow the "kill shot" technique. Put the onus on coaches to train kids to form tackle.

dnak438

February 13th, 2013 at 11:41 PM ^


Previously, the position of the player at the snap changed whether or not the player could block below the waist legally.

...Is what the NCAA article (link) says.

Beginning in the 2011 season, these were the rules:

Blocking below the waist is illegal except on scrimmage plays in the following instances:

• Wide receivers more than seven yards from the center at the snap of the ball can block below the waist only against a player facing him or toward the nearest sideline.

• Running backs/receivers in the backfield and outside the tackle box (the area five yards on either side of the center) or players in motion can block below the waist only on players facing them or toward the nearest sideline.

Players on the line of scrimmage within seven yards of the center are still allowed to block below the waist anywhere on the field.