The NCAA’s Playing Rules Oversight Committee on Wednesday approved football measures designed to tighten the accuracy of the targeting rule, limit below-waist blocking and address teams that appear to be faking injuries to gain an advantage. .
All of these rule changes will come into effect in the 2022 season.
In games that have instant replay, when a targeting foul occurs in the second half, the postponement penalty (to sit out the first half of that player’s next game) may cause the subject of further appeal.
The process will begin with a conference submitting a request to the NCAA National Officials Coordinator, who will review the video of the play. If it is apparent that a player was wrongly penalized for targeting, the appeal would be overturned and the player would be cleared to play in the first half of the following match.
To deal with teams that are granted an injury time out by deceptive actions, panel members approved a reporting and investigation process. Schools and conferences may report questionable scenarios to the National Officiating Coordinator, who will review them and provide feedback to the conference for further action. Any penalties imposed would be the responsibility of the relevant conference or school office.
The NCAA Football Rules Committee considered several in-game options to address this issue, including changing the injury timeout rule to remove the injured student-athlete for more than one game. Currently, an injured player must take time off from a game. This concept was debated at length, but the committee was concerned about the additional problems that could be created and did not want to encourage players to continue participating while injured. .
Committee members discussed how pace of play appears to contribute to this concern. “We have considered all options to resolve this issue, including allowing the two teams to substitute after a first down,” said Stanford football rules committee chairman and coach David Shaw. “This is another step to consider in the future.”
Blocking below the waist
The panel approved a proposal to improve safety and simplify the rules governing blocking below the waist. The proposal will allow blocking below the waist only by linemen and stationary backs inside the tackle box. Outside the tackle zone on scrimmage plays, blocking below the waist will be prohibited.
Analysis of available NCAA injury monitoring data indicates a downward trend in knee injuries that coincides with recent rule changes in this area.
Other rule changes
- If a ball carrier simulates a feet-first slide, the referees will call the runner down at that location.
- Defensive holding will remain a 10-yard penalty but will still result in an automatic first down.
–Courtesy of the NCAA (NCAA.org)
–Photo for this article courtesy of USA Today Sports Images
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