NCAA panel approves drastic rule change for kickoffs

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However, this year will be a little different when it comes to the college football scene as the NCAA introduced some changes for this upcoming season. "I think the kickoff is still an exciting play in football and we think we have some really good returners, but when you have really good returners that's what they're going to do to you and maybe you've got to fair catch it, take the field position, and go from there". According to the NCAA, fewer injuries occur on kickoffs that result in touchbacks than kickoffs that are returned. Klieman said. "Because in the grand scheme the 25's not a bad place to start if people are going to pin you in the corner and you're catching it at the two or three yard line".

The NCAA's lone message in the rule change is player safety, which has been an overriding issue for football at every level in recent years.

If any player on the receiving team signals for a fair catch inside his own 25-yard line, it results in an automatic touchback - the same as if the a player kneeled in the end zone on a kickoff.

Other notable rule changes approved Friday pertain to blocks below the waist and pace of play.

After a touchdown, the play clock will be set at 40 seconds to expedite the extra point or 2-point conversion attempt.

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The offense will not be allowed to block below the waist more than five yards past the line of scrimmage and all non-interior linemen will be required to block below the waist from the front of the defender.

With kickoffs being potential game changers, they are also viewed as one of the more unsafe plays in football.

Continued experimental collaborative decision-making model on instant replays. "Namely, all personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct fouls by the defending team will have the option to be enforced on the ensuing kickoff". Officials from the conference office can be involved.

-Leaping rules on field goals and extra points will closer resemble leaping rules on punts.

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