Saturday, April 14, 2018

Fair Or Unfair Catch?

Barring a last-minute change, spring practice No. 3 is set for this morning at Memorial Field and BGA Premium will be there . . . bundled up. The forecast calls for 38 degrees with the mercury falling. Up here on the mountain we could be in for up to seven inches of snow starting this evening. Joy, joy.
As you probably know, the Ivy League has used an experimental kickoff rule the past two season with kicks coming from the 40 and touchbacks resulting in the ball being placed at the 20. The goal, of course, has been to limit returns and thereby cut down on concussions, which are disproportionately related to kickoff plays. (LINK)

Now the NCAA is taking it a step further.

Yesterday the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel passed a rules change that will allow returners to signal a fair catch between the goal line and the 25 and have the ball placed not at the spot of the catch but at the 25.

FootballScoop provides this reasoning for the change (LINK):
The move essentially extends the end zone out 25 yards on kickoffs, a significant and obvious attempt to limit the number of runbacks.
Plenty of coaches have attempted to steal precious field position yardage by instructing their kickers to land their kickoffs just shy of the goal line and then covering said kick. This rule change now gives receiving teams the option to take that strategy off the table. Whereas previously a kickoff fair caught at the 5-yard line became dead at the 5, now that ball would move to the 25.
Among the other rules changes passed was a banning on blocking below the waist more than five yards from the line of scrimmage.

Read about those changes and several more on the NCAA site HERE.
You know that saying, It's different at Dartmouth? Here's the kind of headline you won't see at Harvard or Yale:
Dartmouth College's Resident Bear Returns With 4 Cubs After Governor Spared Her Life
Find the brief story HERE.