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: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: February 10, 2012 10:53 am

NCAA rules committee proposes new changes

I like the helmet rule.  I cringe every time I see a helmet fly off.  It seems to happen too easily and too often.  I've heard it suggested that the newer models of supposedly safe helmets fit more loosely, but I can't help but feel it's somehow trendy to choose to wear helmets loosely.  I believe that no matter the inner padding or whatever, a player can strap the thing on in such a way that it will be difficult to tear it off.  Players will choose to strap it on properly if their playing time is impacted and coaches will enforce it more closely if they can't field the unit they wish they could.  Clearly, coaches & players have higher priorities than safety.  It's up to others to seek safety.

Since: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: February 10, 2012 10:41 am

NCAA rules committee proposes new changes

As others have said, these rule changes are worthless for player safety. Let's talk about this rule on only a 5 yard run for the kickoff team. How exactly is that going to help? They still have at least 15 yards before they even get to someone trying to block them. Also, the kicking team's players get hurt just as often as the receiving team, how often do you see a kicking team player get blindsided by a blocker? all the time.

The losing of a helmet is bad too. A lot of teams are using hurry up offenses now (like Oregon), now all a player has to do to get an injury stoppage is loosen his helmet strap and "accidentally" lose it on the next play, then take his sweet time getting off the field.

I honestly didn't know blocking below the waist hadn't any restriction for linemen, besides the "if a defensive player is engaged with an offensive, another offensive player can't block him below the waist." So, is that rule gone? because that actually seemed like one that made sense. It was protecting the D-lineman from getting hit unexpectedly in the knees.

I don't understand the leaping rule at all. It's for punts? when are you jumping over someone to block a punt?

Since: Jan 4, 2012
Posted on: February 10, 2012 8:15 am

NCAA rules committee proposes new changes

It has been suggested that players do not always take proper precautions in wearing their helmets, such as not getting them fitted as tightly as recommended, not strapping in as tightly as they should, and not always keeping all four snaps locked in. If that were the case, and if that were also the reason helmets are lost from time to time while in play, this rule could foreseeably incentivize players to take those suggested precautions. That's really the only way I see it adding to player safety. That, and not allowing people to run around tackling each other without helmets on. 

That being said, there are quite a few assumptions in that reasoning. Not so sure why it would be terribly contentious though. 

Since: Nov 17, 2006
Posted on: February 10, 2012 1:46 am

NCAA rules committee proposes new changes

If these rules actually promoted safety, then great... but since they do not, don't waste the time debating them. Please explain exactly why this helmut rule promotes saftey?

Since: Jan 22, 2012
Posted on: February 9, 2012 9:35 pm

NCAA rules committee proposes new changes

The kickoff rule will promote kicking the ball high and short by teams with good kickers.  Drop it in at the 5 and get a stop inside the 20.  Just like NFL kickers are starting to do...

The helmet rule is terrible.  I can already see 20 ways for that to be exploited by opposing teams.

Oh, and now cut blocking is permitted!  Orthopedic surgeons rejoice at the new ACL and MCL tears coming their way.

Now now boys, don't jump.  It's no fair if you try to block their kick!

All in all, 4 bad rule changes.  Go NC2A...

Since: Sep 12, 2007
Posted on: February 9, 2012 8:30 pm

NCAA rules committee proposes new changes

Are they really serious!?  Moving the touchback to the 25-yard line is pure stupidity.  I'd like to meet the committee member that came up with that one.  The helmet rule should simply be that if the player carrying the ball loses his helmet, then the play should be dead.  Period.  Better yet, they should just adopt the rules of the NFL and leave it at that.  College players are getting ready to play in the NFL, so why not get them used to the rules ahead of time?  The rules committee is full of idiots.

Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2012 6:24 pm

NCAA rules committee proposes new changes

None....NONE of those rules promotes all.  NCAA = Idiots.

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