Length of college football games among items discussed during rule changes
The National Football Foundation released its list of “Need-to-Know Rule Changes for (the)
2017 College Football Season” on Wednesday.
This year’s rule changes are minuscule in comparison to some previous seasons, but there are still a couple of items worth noting:
Horse Collar Tackle
“The nameplate area of the jersey is added to the inside collar of the shoulder pad and jersey as
places where it is illegal for a tackler to grab a ball carrier and immediately pull him to the
ground. The committee recognizes that on occasion a tackler grabs the nameplate area and jerks
the ball carrier down, with the same effect as if his grip was on the collar.”
Leaping and Hurdling
“No defensive player who runs forward from beyond the neutral zone may leap or hurdle in an
obvious attempt to block a field goal or try. Before this change, a player committed a foul only if
he landed on another player. This year, the committee took note of some players being injured in
making these moves when trying to block a place kick, so the change is an attempt to take this
leaping and hurdling action out of the game.”
Additionally, the committee is planning a 2018 rule change which will require players to wear knee pads that cover the knees. Previously, the rules recommended that the knees be covered, but it was not required.
Finally, the length of games is apparently being discussed among conference commissioners, athletics
directors, television people and other stakeholders of college football.
“In discussing this trend, the rules committee has not settled on an optimum game length,” the release stated. “But the general sense is that times as long as three and a half hours would not be good for the game.”