football-fbs flag

NCAA.com | April 13, 2018

New kickoff rule approved for 2018

College Football: Touching Traditions | High Five

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved altering football’s kickoff rules to allow the receiving team to fair catch the kick inside the 25-yard line and have it result in a touchback.

The Football Rules Committee made the proposal to continue efforts to increase the number of touchbacks during kickoffs since fewer injuries occur during kickoffs that result in touchbacks than on kickoffs that are returned. All other aspects of the kickoff play will remain the same.

The new rule is the latest in a series of changes the committee has made in recent years in hopes of making the play safer. Before the 2012 season, kickoffs were moved from the 30-yard line to the 35. The committee also changed the starting position on touchbacks that year so that the receiving team started its drive on the 25-yard line instead of the 20.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: 15 games in 2018 that will impact the CFP race

Blocks below the waist

The panel approved a package of rules with the goal of making it easier for players, coaches and officials to understand, execute and coach blocking below the waist.

The most noticeable change pertains to offensive blocks: The offense will not be allowed to block below the waist when the block occurs more than 5 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Additionally, other than the interior linemen, all blocks below the waist must be from the front.

Pace of play

The panel approved two proposals that further its efforts to keep the game moving. After a touchdown, the play clock will be set at 40 seconds to expedite the extra point or two-point conversion attempt. Additionally, following a kickoff, the play clock will be set to 40 seconds to restart play more quickly.

MORE: Examining Heisman winners' seasons before they won

Other significant rules changes

  • The addition of a 10-second runoff was approved when instant replay overturns the ruling on the field inside of one minute in either half, and the correct ruling would not have stopped the game 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. For example, officials involved in the replay process could be located in a conference office.
  • Leaping rules on field goals and extra points were adjusted to mirror similar rules regarding leaping the shield on punting plays. It is illegal to leap over the frame of the body of an opponent.
  • On successful field goals, penalty enforcement will be the same as on made extra points. Namely, all personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct fouls by the defending team will have the option to be enforced on the ensuing kickoff.

Everything Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh said about the upcoming season at Big Ten media days

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh spoke at the Big Ten media day on Friday. Here's what he said.
READ MORE

Penn State's James Franklin talks quarterbacks and program standards at Big Ten media days

Finishing at No. 17 in the AP top 25 and ranked No. 12 in the final CFP rankings, Penn State enters the fall coming off a 9-4 season where the Nittany Lions were 3-0 in non-conference play. Penn State head coach James Franklin spoke at Big Ten media days on Friday. Here's everything he said.
READ MORE

College football: Longest active win streaks going into the 2019 season for FBS

Clemson has the longest active win streak in FBS football going into the 2019 college football season. Here's the list of the other longest streaks.
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners