NCAA changes kickoff rule to include fair catch, touchback inside 25

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Keep in mind, too, this is in addition to recent rule changes to kickoffs.

The new kickoff/kick return rule is the most significant in a handful of new rules that will go into effect during the 2018 season. "I think the kickoff is still an exciting play in football and we think we have some really good returners, but when you have really good returners that's what they're going to do to you and maybe you've got to fair catch it, take the field position, and go from there". Well kickoffs will be, but kick returns on the other hand...

A fair catch on a kickoff received inside the 25-yard line will result in a touchback next season after a proposed rule change was approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel. Receiving teams will be allowed to fair catch any kick inside the 25-yard line and have it result in a touchback.

There have been a series of kickoff rule changes over the past several years.

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Also approved were two minor resolutions involving pace of play.

Following a touchdown and a kickoff, the play clock will start at the 40-second mark in an effort to speed up the game.

Player safety was a factor in the decision.

With kickoffs being potential game changers, they are also viewed as one of the more risky plays in football.

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The offense will not be allowed to block below the waist more than five yards past the line of scrimmage and all non-interior linemen will be required to block below the waist from the front of the defender.

Personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct fouls by the defense on successful field goal attempts can now be enforced on the kickoff.

It will be illegal to leap over the frame of the body of an opponent on a field goal or extra point, which is similar to the rule on punts.

-A 10-second runoff when instant replay overturns an official's ruling inside the final minute of the first or second half, and a correct ruling would not have stopped the clock.

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