The NCAA announced changes Friday that will notably affect kickoffs, field goals, pace of play, instant replay and blocking this season.
Here’s a rundown of what was approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel:
Fair catches on kickoffs
The NCAA expanded fair-catch opportunities for receiving teams on kickoffs. The new rule will allow players to fair catch kicks between the 25-yard line and goal line.
Balls fair caught inside the team’s 25-yard line will count as a touchback and place the ball on the receiving team’s 25-yard line.
Pace of play
Teams might want to cut back on celebrations. The play clock will reset to 40 seconds after both touchdowns and kickoffs.
The NCAA hopes the change will speed up pace of play between touchdowns and either extra points or two-point attempts, as well as between kickoffs and the next offensive series.
Field goal penalties
Teams kicking field goals will now have the option to have personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties by the defending team enforced on the ensuing kickoff.
This was already an option for teams kicking extra points.
Expanded instant replay reach
The NCAA will further experiment with allowing officials to look at instant replays outside of the stadium. An officiating crew can involve officials based outside of the stadium in the replay process.
The NCAA gave the example of officials located in a conference office could be a part of the decision-making process during a game.
Blocking below the waist
Offensive players won’t be allowed to block below a defender’s waist when the player is more than 5 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.
The panel also approved a measure that blocks below the waist must be from the front. This alteration does not apply to interior lineman.
10-second runoff on overturned calls
A 10-second runoff will be implemented when instant replay overturns the ruling on the field, the penalty is committed inside of 1 minute in either half and the game clock wouldn’t have stopped if the correct ruling had originally been called
Leaping on field goals
During field goals and extra points, it will now be illegal for players on the defending team to leap over the frame of the body of an opponent.
The NCAA says the rule was adjusted, however, to mirror similar rules on leaping the shield on punting plays.