NCAA rules committee recommends more overtime changes to shorten college football games

Nick Bromberg
·2-min read

Could more changes be coming to college football's overtime format?

The NCAA's rules committee has proposed more tweaks to overtime rules in an attempt to shorten the length of games. The committee is recommending that a two-point shootout start with the third overtime and that teams should be required to go for two after scoring a touchdown in the second overtime. The fifth overtime is currently the start of the two-point shootout and teams are now required to go for two after TDs in the third overtime.

According to the NCAA "the rationale for making the recommendation is to lessen the number of plays it takes for a winning team to be determined." The NCAA's rules panel reviews all rule change proposals and will discuss the recommendations on April 22.

Regular overtime periods consist of one possession for each team with the ball starting at the opponent's 25-yard-line. The two-point shootout means teams start where they would normally go for two. A team wins if it scores its two-point conversion and prevents its opponent from scoring in the same overtime period.

The NCAA instituted the two-point shootout in the fifth overtime in 2019. The rule change came after LSU and Texas A&M played a seven-overtime game in 2018.

The first game to go to five overtimes and the alternating two-point attempt format was Virginia Tech's 43-41 win in 2019 over North Carolina in six overtimes.

No more coaches leaving the sideline to argue without penalty?

The rules committee typically suggests a few points of emphasis for each upcoming season. This year, the rules committee would like officials to focus on keeping coaches on the sideline when they argue calls. The committee would like any coach who leaves his sideline area to argue a call to automatically receive an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Other points of emphasis the committee would like officials to focus on include uniform violations and players taunting other players. If taunting is strictly enforced in 2021 then we're going to see a lot of ticky-tack penalties.

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