Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Rules Changes

There are several new rules (source: AFCA) that have been implemented for the upcoming football season. The most talked about is Rule 3-2-5, and 3-2-5-e.

Rule 3-2-5, When Clock Starts
Change: When the ball is free-kicked, the game clock will be started and subsequently stopped when the ball is dead by rule.

Rationale: By starting the clock when the foot touches the ball on kicks, the length of time to play the game will be less.

Rule 3-2-5-e, When Clock Starts
Change: When Team B is awarded a first down, the clock will be stopped and will start on the ready for play signal.

Rationale: By starting the clock, the committee estimates it will shorten the game by about five minutes, according to studies by several Division I-A conferences.

Some people feel that this will be to WV's advantage because they already run a no huddle offense, and are generally ready when the ball is spotted. I tend to feel that the opposite is true. While it might be an advantage in the beginning, coaches are very adaptable types, and like everything else, they all find a way to work it to their advantage. Also, like any other run oriented team, the goal is to wear the other team down. With fewer plays being run in a game, this will be more difficult than in previous years. I'm thinking of sending hookers to the opposing teams hotel the night before the game. Seriously, problems like this require us to think outside the box. Another option would be to slip some "No Doze" into the opposing teams drinks the night before the game. Maybe start some construction outside the hotel. I've seen enough fire trucks leaving the field a my teams bus is pulling in to know that you have to take every advantage you can get.

Next up is the "Dark Helmet Rule".

Rule 1-4-5-s, Eye Shields
Change: In the illegal equipment rules, only eye shields that are completely clear will be allowed.

Rationale: In reports from the NCAA'’s Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sport and the National Athletic Trainers Association, both groups supported eliminating this allowance. Both groups noted that there are alternatives to the helmet shields if an eye condition warrants protection (contact lenses, sport goggles, etc.). Coaches in the NCAA rules survey also overwhelmingly supported the change.

WVU has had several players over the years that more closely resembled Darth Vader than a football player. I personally don't think there is any reason to take away the tinted shields. And judging by the above rationale, no good reason was given. Must have been the last rule voted on, as everyone was ready to get the hell out of that meeting.

Next up is the "Chalk Talk Rule".

Rule 3-2-1-b, Halftime
Change: The intermission between halves, which begins when the field is clear of all players and coaches, shall be 20 minutes. The home team administration may lengthen or shorten the 20 minutes by previous agreement of the visiting team administration.

Rationale: This is an attempt to shorten the length of time it takes to play the game.

The more I look at this, the more I think someone wants the game to be decided by a coin toss. Wouldn't it make more sense to make one game shortening rule and see where it goes? College football is not in trouble of going under anytime soon. I suppose it's too late to ask if we could change a couple of these back.

Oh I get it now. They had to shorten the game so they could lengthen it with a few hundred replay rules. Great!

NEW Rule 12, Instant Replay
Change: To add the following procedure to the rules book, as an optional permissive rule.

Rationale: After successful experimentation in the past two football seasons, all Division I-A conferences have requested a uniform system of replay to be included in the rules book. As this is permissive, not mandated, the rules would allow for growth without forcing all institutions and conferences to use video review. The committee notes that overall game times increased by two minutes in Division I-A, with several conferences that used replay reporting shorter game times.

Section 1. Definition
Article 1.

Instant Replay is a system utilizing electronic means to review and assist game officials with certain on-field decisions as listed in Section 3.

Section 2. Eligibility for Instant Replay Participation
Article 1.

a. Any member institution may use instant replay. This rule is permissive, not a requirement. If instant replay is used, it must be used in full compliance with this rule.

b. For any non-conference game, if the home team is using instant replay, the visiting team does not have the option of declining its use for that game. If the home team is not using instant replay, the visiting team does not have the option of requesting that it be used in that game.

Section 3. Reviewable Plays
Sideline, Goal Line, End Line
Article 1.

Reviewable plays governed by a sideline, goal line or an end line include:

a. Scoring plays, including a runner in possession of a live ball breaking the plane of a goal line.

b. A pass ruled complete, incomplete or intercepted at the sideline, goal line or an end line.

c. A runner or pass receiver ruled in or out of bounds.

d. Recovery of a loose ball in or out of bounds in the field of play or an endzone.

Passes Article 2. Reviewable plays involving passes include:

a. A pass ruled complete, incomplete or intercepted anywhere in the field of play or an endzone.

b. A legal forward pass touched by an ineligible receiver.

c. A legal forward pass touched by a defensive player.

d. A fumble ruled on the part of a potential passer. (Note: if the on-field ruling is a forward pass and the pass is incomplete, the play is not reviewable).

e. A forward pass or forward handing ruled when a runner is beyond the line of scrimmage.

f. A forward pass or forward handing ruled after change of possession.

g. A pass ruled forward or backward when thrown from behind the line of scrimmage. (Exception: If the pass is ruled forward and is incomplete, the play is not reviewable).

Article 3.

Miscellaneous reviewable plays include:

a. A runner judged to have been not down by rule. (Note: If a runner is ruled down, the play is not reviewable).

b. A runner'’s forward progress with respect to a first down.

c. Touching of any type kick by any player.

d. The number of players participating by either team during a live ball.

e. A scrimmage kicker beyond the line of scrimmage when the ball is kicked.

f. Clock adjustment when a ruling on the field is reversed.

g. A fumble recovery by a Team A player during the fourth down or a try and before any change of possession.

Plays Not Reviewable
Article 4.

No other plays or officiating decisions are reviewable.

Yeah, they could take on offical replay sponsors and make a killing in advertisements! Is it possible for the rules committee to pass a rule that no more rules can be made? I'll keep my fingers crossed!

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