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New football rule for 2013 season targets hits on defenseless players

by Stephanie Kuzydym Published: March 7, 2013

On Wednesday, the Playing Rules Oversight Panel announced in a teleconference that a new football rule will be instated during the 2013 season.

The rule “requires players who target and contact defenseless players above the shoulders to be ejected.”

This penalty will be increased from an on-field 15-yard penalty.

From the NCAA:

The new rule in football means that discipline for those players flagged for violations will mirror the penalty for fighting. If the foul occurs in the first half of a game, the player is ejected for the remainder of the game. If the foul occurs in the second half or overtime of a game, the player is ejected for the remainder of the game and the first half of the next contest. 

Here is a list of other rule changes:

  • To add a 10-second runoff with less than a minute remaining in either half when the sole reason for the clock stoppage is because of injury.
  • To establish three seconds as the minimum amount of time required to be on the game clock in order to spike the ball to stop the clock. If one or two seconds remain on the clock, there is only time for the offense to run one more play.
  • To require a player that changes numbers during the game to report this to the referee, who will announce it.
  • To preclude multiple players from the same team from wearing the same uniform number (for example, two quarterbacks on the same team are not allowed to have the same number).
  • To allow the use of electronic communication by the on-field officiating crew (the practice was used successfully on an experimental basis by the Southeastern Conference). This is a permissive rule and not a requirement.
  • To allow instant replay to adjust the clock at the end of each quarter. Previously, this provision was in place only for the end of each half.
  • To clarify uniform rules as follows: “Jerseys must have clearly visible, permanent Arabic numerals measuring at least 8 and 10 inches in height front and back, respectively, and be of one solid color that itself is clearly in distinct contrast with the color of the jersey, irrespective of any border around the number.” This rule goes into effect for Football Bowl Subdivision teams in 2013. Football Championship Subdivision, Division II and Division III teams will have until 2014 before the rule becomes effective.

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by Stephanie Kuzydym
Reporter
Stephanie Kuzydym learned at a young age that life is a game of inches. That's just one reason why she loves football. Kuzydym joined The Oklahoman in July 2012. Before arriving in the state, Kuzydym was an intern for the sports departments at...
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