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Kickoff and Touchback Starting Lines Moved.
Kickoffs will take place at the 35-yard line (instead of at the 30-yard line), and kicking team players must be no more than five yards from the 35 at the kick. This is intended to limit the running start kicking teams have during the play. The touchback distance on free kicks also has been moved to the 25-yard line instead of the 20-yard line to encourage more touchbacks. NCAA data indicates injuries during kickoffs occur more often than in other phases of the game.
I took this explanation of the new kick-off rule directly from the NCAA website, because I feel there are a lot of moving parts to this rule.
While the NCAA would like to encourage more touchbacks, they are also discouraging the kicking team from kicking into the end zone by penalizing them an extra 5 yards on the touchback line. It is also encouraging the kicking team to 'kick short' because their coverage team will be 5 yards closer at the time of the kick, making covering easier.
and kicking team players must be no more than five yards from the 35 at the kick - This is very confusing to me... does it mean that they can't set-up more than 5 yards from the 35, or does it mean they have to be within 5 yards of the 35 at the time of the kick. I thought the rule was intended to be that they had to line up between the 30 and 35 (except for the kicker) to limit their running start, but the verbiage does not support that. If the rule is intended to limit the running start of the coverage team, I would assume that would also encourage more returns since they will have a greater opportunity at a 'Big Play'.
I understand the intent of the rule... to encourage more touchbacks and limit injuries. I really am unsure that, because it seems to be muddled, it will actually accomplish this.
I'm sure there are people who understand the rule more than me, so if anyone can help me out, I would greatly appreciate it.
This post was edited by tommyd44 20 months ago
Member of the Gringo Mafia - chief infiltrator of the federales --- If life hands you lemons, throw them at an UofM fan
I said the same thing when the rule was changed earlier this year. It almost seems like you're better off not kicking for a touchback, especially against teams that aren't a real threat at the return game. Like you said, the kicking team now has an extra 5 yards, so if you have a kicker than can get it just short of the goal line, then that can be trouble for other teams.
A great kicker can hit a higher ball with greater hang time and drop it inside the 10 yard line. That would be a game changer as the kickoff man would be receiving the ball under a greater degree of pressure (resulting in more turnovers) and starting field position inside the 20 much more often.
And a great return team will be able to establish better blocking and set up the big play more ofen because the kicking team won't be able to establish the speed that they typically can.
The point being that it is really might not accomplish what the NCAA wants it to.
I don't think this will work the way they want. You'll still have 40+ yards to get up to top speed. We'll see though I guess. Kelly mentioned something about kicks with a lot of hang time in an interview awhile back. Wonder if that's what he's leaning towards
5 Time POTW--Gringo Mafia Director of Guerrilla Warfare
All I know is it's going to be fun watching GAIII take them to the house. I bet he gets one in Dublin.
They will be waving a fair catch on kick-offs.
"Having the right to do something doesn't mean it's right to do it." -- Chief Justice Warren Burger
I am all for kids safety, but if I am reading this correctly you get essentially penalized for kicking a ball resulting in a touch back. One would think that the powers that be would want more touch backs to limit collisions, etc. Hmmmm...
BGI 2008 Fantasy Football Champion /
2 Time POTW / I kicked everyone's butt in BGI game predictions 2010 /
Mrs. LELLY's Hall of Fame
That's the way I'm looking at it. If the ball lands 3-5 yards deep in the endzone, most guys would have taken it out in the past. Now they'd be crazy to since they essentially would have to run 28-30 yards to get it where the ball would be placed if they didn't.
Would love to see it in Dublin, but my bet is that he only has one or two chances. One by coin toss then Navy has to score to kick off. I'm really sceptical on their ability to move the ball against our defense.
Still, based on what I've been reading on the Navy media thread, there is a high likelihood that any Navy kicks are returnable and not touchbacks. Maybe he can go 1 for 1 and start the game out right!
Navy would be better off kicking out of bounds than to him, but yeah I just see him taking one back.
I still have serious doubts about this rule change. This might ruin the game as we know it.
How can you take one of the most exciting plays out of the game? Like previous posters i'm all for the safety of football players but i'd imagine theres as many if not more injuries during regular plays.
GRINGO MAFIA-SERGEANT AT ARMS-
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