College Football Rules: NCAA May Move Kickoff Up for Player Safety
The NCAA Football Rules Committee is considering changes for kickoffs that they believe would benefit player safety, according to their website.
One of the proposed changes would be to move the kickoff from the 30 up to the 35-yard line, which would be similar to changes in the NFL kickoff rules this past season. This increases the likelihood of a touchback, which alone cuts down on player-to-player contact during kickoff.
The committee also considered limiting the kickoff team to a five-yard running distance in order to slow down the initial contact between the two teams during the play, supposedly preventing dangerous hits to the receiving team.
Another player-safety issue brought to the table during meetings was players losing helmets on the field. Under the proposed rules, any player who loses his helmet during play must sit out one play before returning to action. However, the player would not have to sit out if the helmet was lost due to an opponent's foul.
Some other proposed changes that were discussed dealt with jumping to block punts and kick-return-catch time consideration.
The Playing Rules Oversight Panel ultimately has the final say on the proposed changes becoming official. After being distributed to member institutions for opinion, the items may be considered by the panel via conference call the last week of February.
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