NCAA changes kickoff rules, places ball at 35-yard line instead of 30

NCAA changes kickoff rules, places ball at 35-yard line instead of 30

Credit: (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 20: The Tennessee Volunteers kick-off against the Florida Gators at Neyland Stadium on September 20, 2008 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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wwltv.com

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 24 at 5:12 PM

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The NCAA passed new rules for player safety that will go into effect when the 2012 season kicks off this fall.

Like the NFL, kickoffs will be pushed to the 35-yard line from the 30 and those on the kickoff team won’t be allowed to line up behind the 30.

Additionally, touchbacks on kickoffs will come out to the 25 instead of the 20, in theory making it more palatable to take a knee instead of trying to run the ball out of the end zone.

The rule was proposed and approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel.

There is one caveat, however, and that’s that touchbacks will remain at the 20 on punts or fumbles that go into the end zone.

One other change involves helmets and the propensity this past season for them to come off of players’ heads.

Should a player lose his helmet during a play, he will be required to sit out the next play. If a helmet comes off because of a facemask, however, the player won’t be required to leave the game.

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