years ago the NCAA football rules committee agreed there were not enough yearly
rule changes to merit publishing a new rules book each year. It was agreed that on odd years, an
official "new" book would come out. However, on "non-publishing"
even years, changes may be made and implemented immediately because they
directly impact student-athlete safety.
Here are some of those "even" year changes for the 2012 NCAA
college football season, as approved by the Football Rules Committee.
has been shown that the highest number of injuries occur
on Kick-off plays. The committee
has chosen to encourage touchbacks instead of runbacks. First, the kickoff restraining line from
whence the ball is kicked will be moved to the 35 yd/line
(unless relocated by penalty), instead of the 30 yd/line.
This will allow more kicks into or out of the end zone. Next all members of the kicking team
(except the kicker or holder) must be within 5 yards of the restraining line
once the ball is made ready for play. This will slow the full speed charge of
players when the ball is kicked. Penalty is 5 yards from the kickoff yard line,
and re-kick; or 5 yards added to the spot where the dead ball belongs to the
to encourage the receiver to down the ball for a touchback when caught in the
end zone, the line where the receiving team puts the ball in play after a
"kick-off" touchback will be moved to the 25 yd/line.
All other touchbacks remain in play at the 20 yd/line.
Example: A (a) kickoff or (b) punt is received in
the end zone, and the receiver immediately goes to one knee. Ruling: In both instances it is a touchback. In (a) the ball will be placed at the 25
yd/line, first and 10; in (b) the new series
starts at the 20yd/line.
current rule related to kick-off receptions states the kick-catch and
fair-catch protection ceases when the ball hits the ground. Kickers have
learned to drive the ball into the ground, allowing it to bounce high into the
air with no receiver kick-catch protection present. The rules committee has now
added kick-catch and fair-catch protection whether the ball is kicked directly
off the tee or is immediately driven to the ground, strikes the ground once,
and goes into the air in a manner of the ball kicked directly off the tee.
either case, before the receiver touches the ball, the kicking team must not
enter an area defined by the width of the receiver's shoulders and extending
one yard in front of him. (Not
quite resorting to the old "halo", but close.) If so, it is a foul for kick-catch
BLOCKING BELOW THE WAIST
an attempt to decrease the number of knee injuries, blocking below the waist
has been under intense scrutiny the last few seasons. The latest modifications
include no offensive blocking below the waist back toward one's goal line once
past the neutral zone. Offensive players not in motion who at the snap are in
the tackle zone are free to block below the waist until the tackle box is gone. Other rules placed into effect the last
few years are also still in effect limiting blocking below the waist (rule