When college football returns this week, some rule changes will be somewhat noticeable.
The biggest rule change is to speed up overtime by limiting the length of play and reducing the number of melee plays. Teams will now have to perform a 2-point conversion play after a touchdown in second overtime. Previously, 2 point conversions were only required after third extra time.
After the first touchdown in overtime, teams can still choose to score an extra point or opt for a 2-point conversion. It is only during the second overtime that they will have to aim 2. Interestingly, the new rule also states that after third overtime, teams will no longer start from the 25-yard line. They will immediately start to alternate 2 point conversion games.
Pretending to get hurt has been a bit of an annoyance for college football in recent years. With the new 2021 rules, if a player is suspected of being injured, the opposing coach can send a video of the incident to National Football Officials Coordinator Steve Shaw. Shaw would review it and then communicate the findings to the athletic directors; however, there is still no penalty for this.
The team area on the sidelines is also changing. Prior to 2020, the team zone on the sideline extended from the 25-yard line to the 25-yard line. Last year, due to social distancing, he moved from the 15-yard line to the 15-yard line. In 2021, he will meet in the middle of the 20-yard line to the 20-yard line.
Also new for 2021, coaches will now be flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for leaving the coaches area. So when players enter the playing court and leave the team area and the coaches leave the coaches area, it will be an automatic penalty of 15 yards.
Speaking of penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct, video and audio and lighting card operators now cannot create any distractions that get in the way of gambling this year. If they are found guilty, the team will be assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Taunt is a topic of conversation in college football, but it is rarely seen during games. Now, however, if players mock their opponents, they will be flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
One of the more minor changes to the new college football rules concerns uniforms and underwear. Players who break this new rule will be sidelined. T-shirts or other underwear are not allowed to extend below the torso or waist. Instead of calling a penalty on the field and stopping play, players will simply be sent to the sidelines to correct the problem.