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NCAA Approves Rule Changes For College Football

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Albany Regional-UCLA vs Connecticut

A few significant rule changes could be coming to college football in 2022 if they are approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel. The panel is set to meet on April 20th to discuss the potential rule changes and new recommendations.

The NCAA released an official statement on Friday afternoon concerning the new rule changes and their stance on the potential changes coming next season.


In regards to changes to the targeting rule:

The committee, which began meeting Wednesday, proposed a change to the targeting rule after considering several adjustments. In games that have instant replay, when a targeting foul occurs in the second half, the carryover penalty (of sitting out the first half of that player’s next game) will be eligible for further appeal.

The process would begin with a conference submitting a request to Steve Shaw, the NCAA national coordinator of officials, who would review video of the play. If it is clearly obvious that a player was incorrectly penalized for targeting, the call would be overturned, and the player would be cleared to play in the first half of the next game.

In regards to teams faking injuries to gain a competitive advantage:

To address teams that are awarded an injury timeout through deceptive actions, the committee proposed a reporting and investigation process. Schools and conferences would be able to report questionable scenarios to the national coordinator of officials, who will review and provide feedback to the conference for further action. Any penalties levied would be up to the conference office or school involved.

In regards to limiting blocking below the waist:

A proposal to improve safety and simplify the rules governing blocking below the waist was also recommended. The proposal would only allow blocking below the waist by linemen and stationary backs inside the tackle box. Outside the tackle box on scrimmage plays, blocking below the waist would be prohibited.

Analysis from available NCAA injury surveillance data indicates a decreasing knee injury trend that coincides with recent rules changes in this area.

“This proposal is a continuation of the committee’s effort to enhance student-athlete safety,” said Steve Shaw, secretary-rules editor.

Other rules recommendations

  • If a ball carrier simulates a feet-first slide, officials would declare the runner down at that spot.
  • Committee members proposed an adjustment to the uniform policy. Similar to the National Football League rules, the sock/leg covering would have to cover the entire area from the shoe to the bottom of the pants.
  • Defensive holding would remain a 10-yard penalty but would always carry an automatic first down.

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