Playing Rules Panel Approves More Stringent Penalty In Football
June 4, 2013INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
The Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a new football rule that requires players who target and contact defenseless players above the shoulders to be ejected, effective for the 2013 season. The change increases the on-field penalty for targeting by adding the automatic ejection to the existing 15-yard penalty.
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.
In an effort to address concerns when one of these plays is erroneously called on the field, the ejection portion of the penalty will be reviewable through video replay. The replay official must have conclusive evidence that a player should not be ejected to overturn the call on the field.
Additionally, a postgame conference review remains part of the rule, and conferences retain their ability to add to a sanction. The committee will also allow a postgame review to reduce a suspension if warranted.
The Playing Rules Oversight Panel also approved a new rule regarding blocking below the waist. In the past two years, the Football Rules Committee has adjusted rules governing these blocks in an attempt to reduce or remove potentially dangerous plays. But the changes have caused more confusion and inconsistency than intended. The new rule focuses on the block itself and will allow these blocks by stationary players in typical line play.
In other action, the oversight panel denied the Football Rules Committee’s proposal to require an institution’s jersey or pant color to be different from the field of play, citing concerns that it did not enhance the image of the game. Additionally, the panel denied a proposal to move the down and distance markers to the other side of the field for the second half.
A number of football rules changes were approved, however, including: