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Thursday, July 22, 2010

New wedge rules on kickoffs aimed at reducing concussions

Concussions were on the mind of SEC head of officials Rogers Redding as the second day of the league's media days began.

The NCAA has a two-year process for rule changes, and this is an off year, but it has the ability to make a rule change if it affects players safety. So starting this year, it is now illegal to form a three-man or more wedge to intentionally block for a returner on a kickoff

Redding said studies have shown the majority of concussions occur on kickoffs and that this was a measure to reduce that number.

So shoulder-to-shoulder wedges are out. If the players are more than two yards apart, that's OK. The penalty -- a 15-yarder from the spot of the foul -- is called whether a block is made or not.

"It's an expensive foul," Redding said.

Some other notes:
  • Any time the game is stopped for an injury, the player must come out of the game and cannot come back in until professional medical personnel on the sideline has approved his re-entry.
  • The replay booth will be going with all HD monitors this year. It seems like this technology should have been available in the past. Welcome to 2004, SEC.

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