NCAA Approves New Timing Rules for D-I, D-II Football

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The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Thursday approved several football timing rules changes for Divisions I and II intended to continue the effort to control the flow of the game and encourage more consistent game management for the 2023-24 academic year.

The Football Rules Committee anticipates the adjustments will modestly reduce the number of plays in the game, something it will study closely during the 2023 season.

Under the new rules, the game clock will continue to run when a first down is gained. The game clock will be stopped when a first down is gained during the last two minutes of either half. Previously, the game clock stopped when a first down was gained, and the clock restarted when the offense was awarded a first down. 

After the Division III Management Council requested this proposal be referred back to the Football Rules Committee due to opposition within its division, PROP members sent this proposal back for further review for Division III.   

Panel members approved two other adjustments for all three divisions intended to continue to reduce breaks in the game:

  • Teams will be prohibited from calling consecutive team timeouts.
  • Penalties at the end of the first and third quarter will carry over and be enforced on the first play of the next quarter.

In the area of technology, teams will have the optional use of instant replay in games that do not have an instant replay booth official. Last season, the Division II Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association conducted a successful pilot program of this rule. This model allows the referee to use available video to make decisions on reviewable plays after a coach challenge.

Other clarifications that go into effect next season:

  • Guidelines were established for second-half warmup activities, including requiring teams to wait until the field is made available to return and having designated areas of the field to warm up.
  • When teams are on the field, drones are not allowed over the playing surface or the team area.
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