In addition to hearing from the players and coaches throughout the week, B1G Media Days also serves as a time for everyone to receive a quick rules update for the upcoming footballs season. On Tuesday, B1G coordinator of football officials Bill Carollo provided a look at a few tweaks for the 2018 season.
Most of the changes Carollo discussed for the 2018 season were in regard to player safety and pace of play, two areas of concern for the sport. While targeting was a topic of discussion, there weren’t many significant changes to note. Carollo did say that, across the board, officials need to be more consistent with their rulings.
Here are some of the other important rules changes that were addressed by Carollo at B1G Media Days this week:
Pads and pants must completely cover the knee. The stomach, backplate and shoulder pads all must be covered, as well. If there is any issue with a player’s uniform, that player will not be permitted to participate.
Kickoff/Pace of play
The play clock will be set at 40 seconds and will run immediately following the kickoff in an attempt to speed up the game. The play clock will also run following a touchdown to help expedite the pace of play.
While low blocks are still permitted, a player will be penalized for a low block if it occurs five yards or further from the line of scrimmage. This is an attempt to improve player safety.
If a player calls for a fair catch on a free kick or a kickoff inside his team’s own 25-yard line, the result will be a touchback, giving the team the ball at the 25-yard line.