Sunday, May 28, 2006

2006 Football Rule Changes

The latest issue of Referee Magazine is out, and supposedly it contains a number of rule changes for NCAA football for the 2006 season. These changes are not on the NCAA website yet, but I assume they will be shortly. The rumored changes are:
  1. The game clock now starts on a change of possession at the same time the play clock does, instead of starting when the ball is snapped. Supposedly this will save 5 minutes per game.

  2. Player's visors will now have to be clear, no more black, reflective gold or smoke colored ones.

  3. Kicking tees will have a maximum height of only 1 inch above the ground to reduce kickoff length and increase the number of returns.

  4. "Firmly" has been added to several definitions regarding what is or is not a "catch". For example a player who leaves his feet to catch a ball must now have the ball "firmly" in his possession when he lands.
There are a number of other very minor changes evidently, including one regarding "crowd noise" that didn't make a lot of sense to me when my referee friend was trying to explain it to me. As for opinions on the rule changes? I like starting the game clock on change of possession, college games last too long already and anything to speed up the game a bit I'm all for. I think the rule regarding visor colors is dumb, and can't think of a single reason why it should be in place. I like the rule regarding kicking tees ... it's going to really put an emphasis on kick coverage and kick return teams (unfortunately, both areas we've been terrible at recently). Finally, I'm not really sure what to say about the catch definitions, but if they want to move it more towards the NFL style rules then I'm all for it. Heck, if they want to require two feet inbounds I'd be for that as well.

I'll try to get a copy of the magazine and confirm the exact details of each of these rule changes (this was passed on to me by a referee friend) - but I thought people would be interested to see what we will have to get used to next year.

Don't expect to see the entire defense in black visors again, unfortunately (


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