Fans of college football know how debilitating penalties can be for a football team. There are very few things that are more upsetting than a costly penalty at the end of the game that ends up affecting the outcome. That’s why it’s important for players to have a perfectly clear understanding of the rules, and it wouldn’t hurt college football betting enthusiasts to understand them either. While understanding penalties may just lead to fans arguing with the refs, knowing which teams are penalty prone can help those who bet on sports from making costly picks. With that in mind let’s take a look at the new rulings the NCAA will be implementing for the upcoming season.
College football usually implements, or at least tweaks, several rules each year. The majority of these rules concern themselves with the safety of the players and preventing teams from excessively celebrating. The information regarding ruling changes is made readily available to college football betting fans by the National Football Foundation (NFF). Back in 2011 the NFF teamed up with Rogers Redding – the national coordinator for College Football Officiating (CFO). These two organizations have made it their mission to bring to the light exactly what changes the NCAA will be implementing.
The first rule change involves blocking below the waist and low hits on the quarterback. Now any player who isn’t a lineman (running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends) cannot block below the waist unless the initial contact is made at the opponent’s front. This should help defenses defend against the run as offensive players can no longer throw themselves at defenders legs. This ruling will also affect players who leave the tackle box after the snap, like in a screen for example. Also, chop blocking (when a player takes out a defender’s legs) cannot be performed in the direction of the starting position of the football until the ball carrier has completely crossed the line of scrimmage. In regards to the hit on quarterbacks, defenders are prohibited from making ‘forcible’ contact below the quarterback’s waist. This ruling doesn’t seem too clear and it sounds like it will be up to the refs to determine what is forcible.
In 2015 there was an experimental rule change to allow a medical professional to observe, alongside the officials in the Instant Replay booth, and actually interrupt the game. They would only interfere when they saw an injury but neither the officials nor the sideline personnel were able to spot it. This proved to be very successful and the ruling has been made permanent.
A new rule has been added to clarify the position of players behind the line of scrimmage in kicking formations. Now there must be at least one player 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage, or a kicker/holder with a minimum distance of 7 yards again from the line of scrimmage. This is to help prevent teams from using speed players instead of linemen, taking advantage of specific rulings.
Tripping is now illegal for all players, including the ball carrier. Also coaches can now be ejected after receiving 2 unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
One of the biggest changes is the new power given to referees to start or stop the game. Previously teams with the lead would commit penalties on purpose in an effort to run out the clock. Now officials can determine exactly when they would like to start the clock, in an effort to curb this type of habits.