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Rules review video: Targeting, consecutive timeouts, and drones

National college officiating coordinator Steve Shaw explains some Week 0 rulings



2023 media video #1

National coordinator of football officials Steve Shaw posted a video breaking down rules and interpretations for Week 0 of College Football.

  • Shaw reminded that targeting foul reviews must be confirmed one way or another, a call cannot “stand.”
  • A targeting foul was reviewed and determined that the receiver was defenseless and the defender led with the crown of his helmet to make forcible contact in the head and neck area. The defender was disqualified, but available to play in the next game due to the play happening in the first half.
  • Consecutive timeouts in the same dead ball period are not allowed starting this year, and the officials did the correct thing in not acknowledging the second timeout request by the team. A delay of game penalty was given to the team once the play clock expired.
  • An unidentified drone was spotted over the field during the game. Shaw explained that per the new drone policy, the referee should suspend the game and the players must leave the field. This now becomes a game management issue and, along with law enforcement, they were able to confiscate and disable the drone.
  • Sideline media personnel are now allowed to interview coaches during the breaks between the 1st and 2nd quarters and the 3rd and 4th quarters. Shaw described this as an experiment for the 2023 season to give the fans more insight into game action.
  • After a punt that approached the goal line, Shaw reminded that the NCAA and NFL touchback rules are very different. In college football, as long as the ball does not break the plane of the goal line, it is still in the field of play. This means that a player who is partially in the end zone can bat the ball away from the goal line, as long as the ball never breaks the plane. Once the ball crosses the goal line, it is a touchback.
  • Targeting was discussed again in a different situation. This time, the receiver was not defenseless. This means that targeting can only be called if the defender led with the crown of his helmet (an indicator) and made forcible contact with the head or neck.

Josh Cohn has joined Football Zebras as a contributing writer. This is the first of what we hope are many posts from him. Welcome, Josh.

Josh Cohn is a college student at Rochester Institute of Technology studying software engineering and creative writing. As a child, Josh would often officiate games between his friends and classmates during recess.