The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel during a conference call Monday approved two adjustments to targeting rules in an effort to strengthen one of football’s most important calls.
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Beginning in the fall in games using video review, instant replay officials will be directed to examine all aspects of the play and confirm the targeting foul when all elements of targeting are present. If any element of targeting cannot be confirmed, the replay official will overturn the targeting foul. There will not be an option for letting the call on the field “stand” during a targeting review — it must either be confirmed or overturned. Games using the halftime video review procedure will continue to use the current process.
The panel also approved instituting a progressive penalty for targeting. Players who commit three targeting fouls in the same season are subject to a one-game suspension.
The panel approved a new rule relevant to blind-side blocking techniques. Players will not be allowed to deliver a blind-side block by attacking an opponent with forcible contact. It will be a personal foul with a 15-yard penalty. If the block also includes the elements of targeting, it will be a blind-side block with targeting.
The panel approved a rules change to eliminate the two-man wedge formation on all kickoffs.
Panel members approved a tweak to the overtime rules. If a game reaches a fifth overtime, teams will run alternating two-point plays, instead of starting another drive at the opponent’s 25-yard line. This rules change was made to limit the number of plays from scrimmage and to bring the game to a conclusion.
Additionally, there will be a two-minute rest period after the second and fourth overtimes. The rules for the first four overtimes remain unchanged.