Football Rules Changes Approved for 2016

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Football Rules Changes Approved for 2016

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved some rules changes yesterday for the 2016 season. Starting this season a booth official will be able to stop play and call a foul. I can already hear the howls that will rise from Sanford Stadium when play is stopped, and a flag is thrown as directed by an official in the booth. Conspiracy theories will abound.
[su_quote style=”modern-light” cite=”” url=”″] The panel, which met Tuesday via conference call, agreed to allow the instant replay official to stop the game and create a targeting foul in situations where an egregious action occurred and was missed by on-field officials. Instant replay officials also are required to review all aspects of targeting fouls called by an on-field official.
The NCAA Football Rules Committee believes players were incorrectly disqualified from games in a small number of cases last season. The elements of targeting that replay officials will watch for include launching and forcible contact to the head, among other factors.
The following changes were also approved:
[su_quote style=”modern-light” cite=”” url=”″] Panel members also approved the use of electronic devices for coaching purposes in the press box and locker room during the game. However, that equipment will still be prohibited on the sidelines, in the team areas and on the field. Additionally, the home institution is responsible for ensuring identical television capability and identical video and Internet connectivity in the coaches’ booths of both teams.
The Football Rules Committee will continue monitoring the use of those devices in the 2016 season in addition to other potential technology enhancements it believes could improve the game.
Three additional adjustments were approved to enhance student-athlete safety:
• The rules dealing with low blocks were adjusted to prohibit a player who leaves the tackle box from blocking below the waist toward the initial position of the ball.
• The rules pertaining to a defenseless player will include a ball carrier who has clearly given himself up by sliding feet first.
• The deliberate tripping of the ball carrier (with the leg) was approved as a foul.
Additionally, the Football Rules Committee will instruct officials to stringently enforce the 3-yard limit regarding ineligible receivers downfield and adjust officiating mechanics to better officiate plays.

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.