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NCAA Approves 2018 Kickoff Rule Change

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A drastic change is coming to college football in 2018 as player safety continues to be a top priority.

According to Greg Johnson of NCAA.com, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a new rule for kickoffs, with fair catches anywhere inside the 25-yard line resulting in touchbacks and the football being placed at the 25-yard line.

Previously, touchbacks only occurred when the kickoff was fielded in the end zone.

The new rule could help prevent teams from trying to pin opponents deep in their own territory by skying the kickoff and not giving them much of a chance at a return. In the past, any fair catch in the field of play resulted in the ball being placed at the spot where it was fielded.

 

More to read:

 

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2770404-ncaa-approves-2018-kickoff-rule-change-impacts-fair-catches-within-25-yard-line?utm_source=cnn.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=editorial

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Maybe we should revert back to flag football rules to avoid tackling all together.  :nonono:

 

Or, instead of championship games, we can have awards banquets and give everybody a participation trophy.  :lightonfire:

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Give them all leather helmets! I bet that will change things without having so many rules and restrictions.

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I'm wondering if this might lead kickers to do more low line drive or bouncing betty type kickoffs to force receivers to return the ball. It might even lead to more onside kickoffs. Although any of that would put more pressure on the coverage. It will be interesting to see how coaches and kickers adjust.

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My biggest fear is making college football boring because of the safety issues. Safety is important and I totally get that but if you make it to where the sport isn't exciting people will lose interest. Maybe not as much as what has happened to the NFL since there is the local and student support factor but still it is a slippery slope.

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Sorry but I dont agree... All venues must be researched to make the game safer...Last year alone 2 players died on one Saturday

 

And I think GiveHimSix has some very valid points...

 

Midwestern State cornerback Robert Grays died Tuesday after suffering an apparent serious neck injury while making a tackle Saturday against Texas A&M-Kingsville, the school confirmed early Wednesday.  Grays was one of two college football players who played Saturday to die and the fifth college football player to die this year.

https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/saturday-was-one-of-the-deadliest-for-college-football-in-decades/

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My two cents.

Delay the coverage team for about 3-5 secs after the ball is kicked. Gives the returner time to catch the ball and assess which direction he wants to run. He doesn’t get blown up right after the catch and still gives the coverage team an opportunity to pin him deep.

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I thought the whole idea of the fair catch was to give the returner the chance to avoid getting blown up. If he doesn't clearly wave his arm or waits too long to decide, that's on him. There's always the chance that a coverage guy could be blocked or pushed into the returner  but I've rarely seen a coverage player just plow full throttle into a returner who's clearly called for a fair catch. And if the rule makers are concerned about the returners safety, why is this rule only applicable to kickoffs but not punts inside the 25?  :4_6_2v[1]:

 

Obviously the powers that rule college football felt this was a problem that needed to be addressed. I'll reserve judgement until I see how this affects the flow & strategy of the game. 

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