The kickoff play could look significantly different in the very near future.
The NCAA football rules committee proposed a change to the kickoff that would allow for fair catches between the receiving team’s goal line and 25-yard line to be considered touchbacks.
NCAA Football Rules Committee proposes altering kickoff rules to allow the receiving team to fair catch the kick inside the 25-yard line and have it result in a touchback: https://t.co/7cdNojE6MX pic.twitter.com/k04HY91QQr
— NCAA Football (@NCAAFootball) March 2, 2018
The strategic play is to sometimes try and pin teams deep in their own territory with a shorter kickoff. Those kicks involve a bit more hang time, and thus, create a higher probability of a big hit.
This rule would allow for that play to all but vanish from the sport. It would also save the receiving team the option of time. A fair catch late in the game would certainly be a valuable option of the 25-yard line was guaranteed.
This could be an alternative to the previously desired motion by some to rid of the kickoff in the sport altogether. The NCAA was reportedly considering that option as recently as 2 years ago.
By modifying the rule, it would leave the possibility for potential onside kicks in play. It would also allow kickoff return specialists to still showcase their skills before the NFL.
According to the NCAA’s release, all rules recommendations must be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which is scheduled to discuss the football proposals via conference call April 13.