Blog Entry

NCAA rules committee proposes new changes

Posted on: February 9, 2012 5:31 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2012 6:47 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer

Following a regular meeting this week, the NCAA Football Rules Committee has recommended several rules proposals aimed at enhancing player safety for the upcoming season.
Changes are normally on a two-year cycle but the emphasis on safety was strong enough that the changes are proposed for immediate implementation in 2012.

“In all of our proposals, we are continuing the annual effort to find ways to make our game safer where we can,” said committee chair Scot Dapp. “Without question, these changes will enhance student-athlete safety and we feel very comfortable based on the data we collected that the impact will be significant.”

Proposed changes include:

  • The committee voted to move the kickoff back five yards to the 35-yard line and require that kicking team must be no further than five yards back to limit running starts. Another change was to move the touchback on kicks and safety punts to the 25-yard line to encourage more touchbacks.
  • Another recommendation is if a player loses his helmet other than as the result of a facemask, it will be treated like an injury and the player must leave the game and is not allowed to participate for the next play. Also, the player must not continue to participate in play to protect him from injury.
  • To clarify blocking below the waist rules, the committee approved wording that allows offensive players in the tackle box at the snap to block below the waist legally without restriction. All other players are restricted from blocking below the waist with a few exceptions. 
  • The committee proposed a rule similar to the leaping rule on place kicks that does not allow the receiving team on punts to jump over blockers, unless the player jumps straight up or between two players.
According to the NCAA website, the recommendations must be approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which has a teleconference scheduled for later this month.


Since: Apr 14, 2012
Posted on: April 14, 2012 6:38 am

NCAA rules committee proposes new changes

Interesting.  We already started using the new kickoff rules during our college spring games this past month.  The theory behind that is all safety.  It is supposed to slow down the ends on the kickoff team to "TRY" to reduce head injuries.  I am waiting for the interpretation from redding because prior to the new rule change they were allowed to be partially but not all the way in front of the ball while kicking off.  Now since these new rules are safety oriented can any part of the body be in front of the ball because I threw more flags on the kickoff team than I had almost all of my career as an official.

Since: Jan 5, 2009
Posted on: February 10, 2012 7:50 pm

NCAA rules committee proposes new changes

How much does this clown get paid for writting his articles? The following sentence is from the article above."The committee voted to move the kickoff BACK five yards to the 35-yard line and require that kicking team must be no further than five yards back to limit running starts". First of all they are kicking off from the 30yd. line now, so they would'nt be moving it BACK 5yds. they're moving it FORWARD 5 yds. It's not rocket science Fischer, get a clue! As for the helmet rule I don't agree totally. I do think this rule could impact a game by having one of your best players sit out a play for which he may not have had anything to do with why his lid came off in the first place. These guys like when there lid pops off because everyone gets to see who's underneath it. If they tighten up there straps correctly there not going to come off with the slightest little bump or contact. All I know is I've never seen so many guys lose there lids as I have in the past few seasons. Pro & College, it's ridiculous!

Since: Apr 14, 2011
Posted on: February 10, 2012 4:57 pm

NCAA rules committee proposes new changes

I like the helmet rule because it forces players to put the straps on correctly.  In my years of playing and watching, I have never seen a properly fitted helmet correctly strapped come off, unless there was a personal foul face mask.  I think these guys wearing looser fitting helmets are putting themselvs in harm's way.

I don't quite understand the implementation of the touchback rule change.  Yes it does allow the receiving team the option of taking a touchback with the ball at the 25, instead of running out of the endzone; however, this will increase the odds of the kicking team kicking short to keeping the ball in play.  The idea of the touchback is to kick the ball out of play so neither team has to risk injury on the most chaotic plays of the game, the punt and kick returns.  While they are at it, if they wish to eliminate the illegal blocks in the back fouls on return plays, the enforcement should be fifteen yards instead of ten.

One way to avoid injuries is to go back to leather helmets or remove the facemasks from the current ones and put a plastic shield in place.  This will stop the spearing and face mask grasps.  

Since: Dec 15, 2007
Posted on: February 10, 2012 4:34 pm

NCAA rules committee proposes new changes

The helmet rule is brilliant.  I see more and more helmets flying off than ever before.  Super Bowl seemed to have one every 5 minutes.  This is the only way to force the players to wear proper sized helmets that are tightly strapped on.  This crap didn't use to happen.  Guys, helmets should almost never come off if they are fitted properly.  This is the only way to change player behavior. 

Kudos to the rules committee.  What this really means is that over time we won't see helmets flying off anymore.  The rule won't need to be enforced.  Great move.

Since: Feb 10, 2012
Posted on: February 10, 2012 3:47 pm

NCAA rules committee proposes new changes

how retarted they need to stop changing rules and jsut let people play the game they are taking the fun out of it this safety stuff is going to far if your a baby dont play football

Since: Sep 16, 2010
Posted on: February 10, 2012 3:37 pm

NCAA rules committee proposes new changes

They must be joking. 

Since: Jun 6, 2011
Posted on: February 10, 2012 3:26 pm

NCAA rules committee proposes new changes

If you oppose these rule changes then you are branded as opposing safety.  I for one think we are fine without the implementation of silly rules such as these.

The NCAA folks should get a tee time and quit sitting around fiddling with gray matter to the extent of mental masterbation.

What a bunch of do nothing tools.   

Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: February 10, 2012 2:56 pm

NCAA rules committee proposes new changes

Propose safer helmets, NCAA. Then have the NFL do the same thing.

Since: May 12, 2008
Posted on: February 10, 2012 2:41 pm

NCAA rules committee proposes new changes

What a stupid rule proposal!  Lose your helmet = sit out a play?!  There are some dummies proposing changes.  Imagine this...  BCS championship...  seconds to play...  Star player has his helmet removed/knocked off...  no flag on the play (missed by ref or just happened)...  player must sit out the deciding play.  STUPID!  Of course, my scenario is an extreme one that may not happen but it could.  This is just dumb. 
If a guy takes off his helmet on the field, that is one thing.  If a play causes it to come way!

Since: May 3, 2009
Posted on: February 10, 2012 1:46 pm

NCAA rules committee proposes new changes

Loss of helmet: Imposing consequences upon the offense or defense in the form of penalty, timeout or ineligibility on an ensuing play will open up a nasty new can of worms.  Unfortunately but inevitably, when new rules are proposed for the sake of safety they always bear new consequences that become the strategic focus of squeezing every inch from every situation on both sides of the ball.  Suddenly if a player on offense tosses his helmet, he and his team get an automatic breather??  Worse still, such a rule would seem to invite a "capture-the-helmet" defensive mentality as a last resort because in effect, it would put a bounty on star players' heads on 2nd down for a defense to knock them off the field for a crucial 3rd.  In effect, punishing players for losing their helmets in this way is equivalent to rewarding opponents who manage to eject said players' helmets from their skulls.  If helmet loss becomes tied up in such consequences...won't we just see more of it? 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or