Below is a look at the rules changes coming to college football in 2018:
Knee pads and pants
- Knee pads must be covered by pants, which must completely cover the knees
- If an official discovers illegals equipment or if a player is not wearing mandatory equipment, the player must leave the game for at least one down and is not allowed to return until the equipment is made legal. The player may return without missing a down if the team takes a charged timeout and the equipment is made legal.
New #NCAA uniform rules
Entire knee must be covered
Stomach may not be exposed
Back plate may not be exposed
T shirt may not protrude below jersey @NCAAFootball pic.twitter.com/IzLQpL70Vr
— College Sports Design (@CFB_Design) April 30, 2018
- A single decorative marking centered on the 50-yard line and a maximum of four smaller flanking decorative markings are allowed. If a commercial entity or individual has purchased naming rights to the facility, that entity’s name/company-specific font or logo may be painted on the field in no more than two of the flanking locations.
Jersey design, color and numerals
- Allows the jersey to contain a graduate or academic recognition as part of the institutional or conference logo.
- Allows the jersey to contain the letter “C” to identify a team captain
- Permissive for the 2019 season: College football 150th anniversary mark
- Competition committee created a uniform review process for all Division I schools whereby schools must send electronic copies of all uniforms for the season in for review by June 15.
Prohibited field equipment
- A camera with no audio component may be attached to the cap of any official with prior approval of the conference and participating institutions.
Coaches phones and headsets
- 20 total communication devices allowed, 15 for coaches and graduate assistants, four for players and one on field for non-coaching activity.
- Only countable coaches and graduate assistants allowed in the coaches booth in the press box. Allowance of one communications technician on the field and one in the booth.
Play clock after touchdowns/kickoffs
- After a touchdown and following a kickoff, the play clock will be set to 40 seconds in order to expedite the try or restart play, respectively.
Fair catch of free kicks
- If a player on Team B makes a fair catch, the ball becomes dead where caught and belongs to Team B on that spot.
- If a free kick is caught behind a team’s 25-yard line, the ball belongs to the receiving team at its own 25-yard line. The ball will be put in play midway between the hash mark unless relocated before the play clock is at 25 seconds.
Try down/opportunity to score
- If a touchdown is scored during a down in which time in the fourth quarter expires, the try shall not be attempted unless the point(s) would affect the outcome of the game. However, if the scoring team is ahead by one or two points, it can forego the try.
Blocking below the waist
- No change to linemen with initial position completely inside the tackle box. All other players offensive players are allowed to block below the waist only if the force of the initial contact is from the front.
- A player may not block below the waist when the block occurs 5 yards or more beyond the neutral zone.
- Players outside the tackle box at any time after the snap or in motion at the snap may not block below the waist toward the initial position of the ball at the snap.
- Once the ball has left the tackle box a player may not block below the waist toward his own end line.
- It is foul if a defensive player moves forward and tries to block a field goal or try by leaving his feet and leaping into the plane directly above the frame of the body of an opponent.
- It is not a foul if the player was aligned in a stationary position within one yard of the line of scrimmage when the ball was snapped.
- It is a foul if a defensive player who is inside the tackle box tries to block a punt by leaving his feet and leaping into the place directly above the frame of the body of an opponent.
Field goal penalty enforcement
- When a field goal is successful, Team A shall have the option of canceling the score and have the penalty enforced from the previous spot or declining the penalty and accepting the score.
- Team A may accept the score with penalties for personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct fouls enforced on the succeeding kickoff or from the succeeding spot in extra periods.
Instant replay 10-second runoff
- With less than one minute in either half and a replay review results in the on-field ruling being reversed and the correct ruling would not have stopped the game clock, the clock will be reset to the time the ball is declared dead by replay and the referee will subtract 10 seconds from the game clock. The game clock will start on the referee’s signal. Either team may use a timeout to avoid the runoff.
Editorial change to loose ball out of bounds
- A ball not in player possession control other than a kick that scores a field goal is out of bounds when it touches the ground, a player, a game official or anything else that is out of bounds or that is on or outside a boundary line.