Sports NCAA changes rules on targeting, blocking below waist, fake...

NCAA changes rules on targeting, blocking below waist, fake injuries; officially prohibits fake slides


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The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved measures Wednesday to “strengthen the accuracy of the targeting rule”, “limit blocking below the waist” and “address fake injuries” intended to gain yards.

Blocking below the waist will be prohibited on plays outside the tackle box. Blocking below the waist will only be allowed by linemen and stationary backs inside the tackle box.

When a targeting foul occurs in games that have instant replay, the carryover penalty will be eligible for further review.

Schools will also be able to report “questionable scenarios” when a team is rewarded with an injury timeout through “deceptive actions.” In a statement by the NCAA, the rules committee expressed concern about encouraging players to continue to participate when injured.

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“We considered all options to address this issue, including allowing both teams an opportunity to substitute after a first down,” chair of the Football Rules Committee and coach at Stanford David Shaw said in a statement. “This is another step to consider in the future.”

The rules will go into effect in the 2022 season.

Additional rule changes include defensive holding always carrying an automatic first down and officially making it illegal for a player to fake a slide: “If a ball carrier simulates a feet-first slide, officials will declare the runner down at that spot.”

These changes come months after the fake slide Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett used to make a long touchdown run in the ACC championship game was prohibited in December with a new interpretation of existing rules regarding when to call a play dead.

Contact Analis Bailey at or on Twitteranalisbailey.

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