INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (WCMH) — One of the most controversial rules in college football is undergoing a slight change. On Wednesday, the NCAA took steps to try to improve the accuracy of the targeting rule.

NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel voted to allow an appeal process for targeting calls that occur in the second half of the game.

As it stands right now, a player called for targeting in the second half must sit out the remainder of the half as well as the first half of the team’s next game.

The appeal process will begin with a conference submitting a request to the NCAA national coordinator of officials, who would review video of the play. If it is obvious that a player was incorrectly penalized for targeting, the call would be overturned and the player would be cleared to play in the first half of the next game.

Other rule changes include limiting blocking below the waist and potentially punishing teams who appear to fake injuries to gain an advantage.

Faking injuries

To address teams that are awarded an injury timeout through deceptive actions, panel members approved a reporting and investigation process. Schools and conferences will be able to report questionable scenarios to the national coordinator of officials, who will review and provide feedback to the conference for further action. Any penalties levied would be up to the conference office or school involved.

Blocking below the waist

The panel also approved a proposal to improve safety and simplify the rules governing blocking below the waist. The proposal will allow blocking below the waist only by linemen and stationary backs inside the tackle box. Outside the tackle box on scrimmage plays, blocking below the waist will be prohibited.

Analysis of available NCAA injury surveillance data indicates a decreasing knee injury trend that coincides with recent rules changes in this area.

Other rules changes 

  • If a ball carrier simulates a feet-first slide, officials will declare the runner down at that spot
  • Defensive holding will remain a 10-yard penalty but will always carry an automatic first down