Thursday, July 24, 2008
New NCAA football rules
At the Ohio Valley Conference football media day held at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn., on Tuesday, OVC coordinator of officials outlined some of the rule changes made in the offseason for NCAA football.
Jackson, who was an official for nearly 20 years in the Sunbelt and Southern conferences, is in his second year as coordinator.
Also, because Samford switched conferences, only nine teams remain that play OVC football, which allowed the number of OVC officials to decrease. The OVC will now have five crews of officials instead of six. No officials were fired, Jackson said; attrition took care of the seven.
Play clock —
The 15 second play clock has been eliminated. A 40-second play clock has been instituted to begin the instant the ball is dead on every play, just like in NFL games. The theory is that the pace of play will be faster and games won't last an eon. A play clock of 25 seconds will be administered under these conditions: penalty administration, charged team time out, media time out, injury time out, measurement, change of possession, following a kick, following a score, start of each period, instant replay review, and any other administrative stoppage.
Kicking — When a kickoff goes out of bounds, the receiving team has the option of taking the ball to the 40 yard line as opposed to the previous 35.
"Bill Belichick" rule — You can't film opponents play signals.
Chop block — The chop block has been defined and made into a penalty. The chop block has been defined as either a high-low or low-high combination block by any two players against an opponent (not the runner) anywhere on the field. Intent is key here as accidental grazes on the way to another player are not a problem.
"Horse collar" tackle — It is now illegal to grab inside the collor or shoulder pad from the back and shoulders to institute a tackle. A 15 yard penalty will ensue. The tackle must be immediate and it is not a foul if it happens inside the tackle box. Tackling a quarterback by horse collar method while in the pocket is OK.
Face mask — Incidental face mask touching is no longer a 5-yard penalty. But it is illegal to twist, turn or pull the face mask and is a 15-yard penalty.
Head contact —It is illegal to initiate contact and target an opponent with the crown of the helmet. It is illegal to target and initiate contact with a defenseless opponent above the shoulders. When in question, the act will be a foul. Intent is all a key to the call here. Basically, this is a helmet punch to the head and neck area.
Sideline interference — Referees were spending too much time delaying the game to issue non-penalty sideline warnings. Officials will now only call sideline interference when they are actually impeded by a sideline member in their officiating duties. This will be a delay-of-game 5-yard penalty. No more warnings.
Also, if a school's marching band is playing while there is a live ball and it is preventing a team from hearing the play calls, the official can give a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct to the band.
Thanks to Jim Jackson for explaining the changes to everyone.