Wednesday, August 27, 2008

NCAA Football Rules Changes For 2008

The 2008 NCAA football season will be underway on Thursday and as we prepare for the opening weekend let’s take a quick look at some of the rule changes for this season.

Obtaining opponents’ signals prohibited – Also known as the Bill Belichick rule it is illegal for a team to video another teams’ sideline signals.
Chop block redefined - A chop block is now defined as a high-low or low-high combination block by any two players against an opponent (not the runner) anywhere on the field, with or without a delay between contacts; the “low” component is at the opponent’s thigh or below.

40-second play clock – The 15-second play clock and the clock following an inadvertent whistle are gone. Now when an official signals that the ball is dead, the
play clock will immediately begin a 40-second count.

If the 40-second count is interrupted for reasons beyond the control of the officials or the play-clock operator (e.g., clock malfunction), the referee shall stop the game clock and signal that the play clock should be re-set at 40 seconds and started immediately.

In the event that the 40-second clock is running and the ball is not ready to be snapped after 20 seconds into the count, the referee shall declare a timeout and signal that the play clock be set at 25 seconds. When play is to be resumed, the referee will give the ready-for-play signal and the play clock shall begin the 25-second count. The game clock will start on the snap unless it had been running when the referee declared a timeout; in that case it will start on the referee’s signal.

25-Second Clock - If the officials signal the game clock to be stopped for any of the following reasons, the referee shall signal that the clock should be set at 25seconds:
1. Penalty administration.
2. Charged team timeout.
3. Media timeout.
4. Injury timeout.
5. Measurement.
6. Change of possession.
7. Following a kick down.
8. Score.
9. Start of each period.
10. Start of a team’s series in extra period.
11. Instant replay review.
12. Other administrative stoppage.

When play is to be resumed, the referee will give the ready-for-play signal and the
play clock will begin the 25-second count.

Also the clock stops when ball carrier, fumble or backward pass goes out of bounds and
starts on the referee’s signal, except that in the last two minutes of each half, the clock
starts on the snap.

“Horse-collar” tackle introduced as a personal foul – This rule is introduced in the same format that the NFL uses.

Five-yard face mask/helmet opening foul eliminated – Now the penalty is only for
twisting, turning or pulling the face mask or helmet opening—15 yards.

Sideline infractions - Formerly warnings now it is a penalty on the first offense. First
two—fouls for delay of game (5-yard penalty). Third and subsequent—foul for sideline
interference (15-yard penalty)

Coach may retain successful challenge only once – If the coach correctly challenges a
play then he is rewarded with his challenge back for use again in the game. It can only be
used one other time but coaches who get it right now have the opportunity for two replay challenges.