Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Shorter games, facemask penalties being discussed

Shorter games could be on the way for college football, thanks to some rules ACC officiating coordinator Doug Rhoads explained to coaches at the ACC spring meetings Tuesday.

The clock will continue running when players go out of bounds, except for the last two minutes of each half. And it’s hoped that going to an NFL-type, 40/25-second play clock will standardize the amount of time between plays.

Rhoads said the new clock rules could allow more plays in a shorter time. So games could have nearly the same amount of plays but get completed more quickly.

“That was one of the goals,” Rhoads said. He said the average length of an NFL game is 3 hours, 3 minutes. College games take more than 3:22 to complete.

Another change is the elimination of the 5-yard facemask penalty. All facemask penalties will be 15 yards, but flags will fly only if players grab the mask and twist.

There will be no penalty when players accidentally grab the facemask but quickly release it. – Ken Tysiac