Big 12 Replay Command Center, Coach Decorum Highlight Rule Changes
By Kevin Kinder
FRISCO, Tex. – Big 12 coordinator of officials Walt Anderson detailed some minor clock enforcement changes, two rule changes and a new point of emphasis on coaches’ decorum at Big 12 Media Days on Tuesday. He also detailed the new central command center that the Big 12 has established for replay review to assist the on-site replay officials
Perhaps the most important are the latter ones, coaching behavior and the revamped replay process.
The Big 12 has established a centralized command center, with a replay official and communicator for each game just as it exists at each stadium. That command center replay official can work with the on-site replay official to provide another set of eyes and more input into reviews. The replay officials in the command center will be in communication with the replay officials on-site, and will watch the exact same angles as they do, in order to ensure that calls are not missed and interpretations are consistent. The command center can hear all of the audio from the on-site replay booth, and can draw the on-site official’s attention to plays or actions that might be cause for a review.
The point of emphasis, coaches decorum, has also been underlined to officiating crews and coaching staffs. While coaches can still express their displeasure with calls and decisions, they cannot come onto the field to do so. Such displays will draw an unsportsmanlike foul call, with the second resulting in ejection from the game. Anderson showed several highlights of improper behavior, including WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen’s meltdown against Texas last year.
“We’ll have to work with Dana on this one,” he said with a grin.
Anderson noted that the league has done tests of the command center process over the past couple of years.
Minor rule changes include modifications to the jumping rule and the horsecollar tackle rule. Jumping through a gap on the offensive line from a spot on the line of scrimmage is still legal, and players can use their hands when doing so. However, players cannot can’t use your feet or knees on opponent to help boost on the jump, or get a running start and leap completely over the line, even if no contact occurs.
The horsecollar tackle rule has been expanded to include grabbing the nameplate area on the back of the jersey. Previously, the tackler’s hand had to be inside the collar to draw a flag.
A few slight changes to clock management are also being implemented:
- As ball is being spotted after out of bounds plays outside the last two minutes of the half or game, the clock will start at the time of the spot. That is a slight change that could shorten games a bit.
- Halftimes will be 20 minutes. “Period, end of story,” Anderson said. There will be no more requests for extended halftimes.
- The twenty minute countdown clock to the start of the second half will go up on screen as soon as first half ends. In past it waited for teams to clear the field.
- Stricter adherence to the time of media breaks will also be done.