NCAA approves new football kickoff rule

Alteration to football kickoff rule approved

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In 2012, kickoffs were moved up 5 yards to the 35-yard line, and touchbacks were moved up 5 yards to the 25-yard line in an attempt to limit the number of returns and subsequent injuries that take place during the play.

In addition to the kickoff rule change, the Football Rules Oversight Panel approved rules regarding blocking below the waist in an effort to make it easier for players, coaches, and officials to understand and execute the rule clearly.

Receiving teams will be allowed to fair catch any kick inside the 25-yard line and have it result in a touchback.

It's a significant shift for the college game with a clear emphasis on removing violent hits during kickoffs from the game of football at the collegiate level.

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No other changes will be made to the kickoff. That same year, the starting position after touchbacks was changed from the 20-yard line to the 25.

Play clocks will be set at 40 seconds after touchdowns and following kickoffs to expedite succeeding plays.

The oversight panel also approved the prohibition of blocks below the waist by offensive players more than five yards from the line of scrimmage. 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.

The panel approved the continuation of an experimental collaborative decision-making model for instant replay that is not limited to the press box in the stadium.

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Leaping rules on field goals and extra points have been altered to mirror those on punts. It is illegal to leap over the frame of an opponent's body.

For more on the rule changes, you can read the NCAA's release about the latest adjustments.

If there is an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty or personal foul by the defense on a field goal, the kicking team will have the option to have the penalty enforced on the ensuing kickoff.

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