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Major and Minor Changes Highlight Football Rules Proposals

The headline rule change proposed by the NCAA’s Football Rules Committee was stronger penalties for players who target defenseless opponents, with all such hits earning a 15-yard penalty and an automatic ejection. But a couple of the others have garnered attention despite being seemingly minor changes. One change would affect end of game situations:

To establish three seconds as the minimum amount of time required to be on the game clock in order to spike the ball to stop the clock. If one or two seconds remain on the clock, there is only time for the offense to run one more play.

This seems odd, but it entirely consistent with a rule in basketball. In basketball, a team must have at least 0.3 seconds on the clock to catch and shoot after an inbounds. If the clock reads 0.2 or 0.1 and the team catches the ball, referees should wave the basketball off immediately. Same principle applies here. With less than three seconds on the clock, if a team spikes the ball, the referees should end the game.

To require teams to have either their jersey or pants contrast in color to the playing field.

Boise State is the poster child for this rule, but unlike the Mountain West’s ban on the Broncos using blue uniforms on their blue field, this would apply to all teams. That means Eastern Washington would be prohibited from wearing red uniforms at home, all the green teams would prohibited from wearing all green uniforms most places, and Central Arkansas would have to do … something.

To allow the use of electronic communication by the on-field officiating crew after successful experimentation by the Southeastern Conference. This is not a required piece of equipment but will allow officiating crews to use this tool.

Any sport played in a facility bigger than a basketball arena should allow this. It makes consultation easier, keeps the game moving, and can potentially protect officials during fights or altercations.

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