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NCAA tweaks college football OT format to shorten games

INDIANAPOLIS – College football teams will have to go for 2 after touchdowns starting with the second overtime possession, and beginning in the third round each team will get one play to score from the 3-yard line.

The NCAA playing rules oversight panel on Thursday approved a proposal made last month by the playing rules committee to tweak the overtime format.

The overtime recommendation was based on player safety and intended to reduce the number of plays it takes for a winner to be determined. National coordinator of officials Steve Shaw said in March overtime games add an average of 16.4 plays to a contest.

The new rule will have teams run alternating 2-point plays in the third overtime instead of starting another drive at the opponent’s 25-yard line. The 2-point shootout currently starts in the fifth overtime.

Teams could still choose whether to kick the point after touchdown or run a 2-point conversion play in the first overtime.

The playing rules panel also approved recommendations to permanently extend the sideline team area to the 20-yard lines from the 25-yard lines.

The NCAA said the panel also supported a proposal to allow schools and conferences to request a postgame video review of instances where a team is suspected of feigning injuries to slow its opponent.

The playing rules panel also said in 2021 officials will be told to emphasize rules against players taunting an opponent, flagrant uniform violations, and coaches coming onto the field to argue officiating decisions.