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Published: Thu, August 11, 2016
Sports | By Jaime Goodwin

Will the Kickoff Play Be Dropped out of College Football?

Will the Kickoff Play Be Dropped out of College Football?

Nick, SIU football coach hopes that the kickoffs in college football stay around. Nick has the best returner in the Missouri Valley Football Conference coming back. College football betting will be in his team’s favor whenever they play with the return of the best returner.

Daqum Isom, who is Sophomore running back, was leading in the league in the kickoff return yardage with 24.3 yards per return in league play. Some may say that he had a number of shots considered to be dangerous play, but two bodies are talking about dropping the kickoff play altogether.

Four years after increasing the number of the kickoff line to 35 yards and reducing the number of coverage players who could get a running head start, the NCAA Division 1 Football Oversight Committee and the American Football Coaches Association have had unofficial talks about eliminating kickoff play to increase player safety.

In a statement, Hill said that the kickoff is a part of the game and he would not like to see it dropped. According to him, the kickoff has already been made safe by increasing the number of touchbacks and although it is a bit physical, it is all football. According to Dodd, there probably will be no rule changes until the 2017 season.

Before the beginning of the 2011 season, the NFL moved the kick off line up to 35 and the percentage of returned kickoffs reduced from 80.1% in 2010 to 53.5% in 2011. The report, given by ref Mike Pereira in a 2012 FoxSports.com, also indicated that concussion cases dropped by a whopping 40%.

In 2012, the NCAA followed suit after the oversight committee of the associations playing rules voted in favor of moving the kick off line to 35 yards and gave the receiving team at the 25 yard line other than 20 on touchbacks. Additionally, the committee also voted that the running distance of the team kicking the ball should not exceed five yards before the ball is kicked. Before the amendment, the players could get a 10-15, or even more yards head start before the ball was kicked.

Todd Berry, the AFCA executive director told Dodd that he was excited that they are starting to have the conversation. By eliminating the kickoff play; modifying it or changing the blocking schemes, they could reduce the number of injuries in football.

In the MVFC last season, the kickoff play was a major play with North Dakota State winning its fifth straight national championship and led in kickoff returns with 29.09 yards per return. South Dakota ranked ninth countrywide at 23.66 yards per return, SIU ranked 48th nationwide with 21.28 yards per return.

In the FCS, Missouri state had the worst scoring defense at 48.6 points allowed per game and kicked off 68 times which was more than any other team.

The kickoff play for all youth divisions of 10 year olds have been eliminated by the Pop Warner youth football due to safety concerns. The Ivy League is planning on using the experimental rule where kickoff will be done from 40 yards and the touchbacks will give the ball to the receiving team at 20 yards instead of 25. They are also looking to eliminate live tackling in practice after eight coaches came to the agreement.

The Ivy League brought the idea of the experimental rule after reviewing concussions in nine sports in 2010. It was found out that 23.4% of all concussions during football happened during kickoff. After the season, the Ivy League plans to evaluate kickoff return and concussion data and share it with NCAA’s rules committee in February.

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