NCAA Changes 2-Point Conversion Format in New CFB OT Rules

Blake SchusterContributor IApril 22, 2021

PASADENA, CA - DECEMBER 19: UCLA Bruins wide receiver Kyle Philips (2) makes a touchdown catch in overtime for during the Stanford Cardinal vs UCLA Bruins football game on Saturday December 19, 2020 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NCAA's Playing Rules Oversight Panel announced a change to college football's overtime format on Thursday with the intention of bringing games to a close sooner. 

Teams will now advance to a two-point shootout in the third overtime frame rather than the fifth. A two-point conversion must now be attempted after a touchdown starting in the second overtime frame. 

"This rules change is being made to limit the number of plays from scrimmage and bring the game to a quicker conclusion," the NCAA wrote in a statement. "Teams can still choose whether to kick the point after touchdown or run a 2-point conversion play during the first overtime period."

The first two overtime periods will still begin with each team getting one possession from the 25-yard line.

The changes will go into effect for the 2021 season. 

Additionally, the panel has permanently extended the sideline area for both teams to the 20-yard line on each side of the field. Previously teams were kept within the 25-yard lines, but the coronavirus pandemic led the NCAA to extend the sideline area in 2021. Now that change is staying for good. 

There are also three new points of emphasis officials will be watching for next season: any taunting actions, uniform violations including pants, jerseys and t-shirts that extend below the torso as well as prohibiting coaches from entering the field of play to argue calls. 

The latter point of emphasis will feature an automatic unsportsmanlike conduct foul. 


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