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Posted: Friday February 24, 2012 1:09PM ; Updated: Friday February 24, 2012 1:36PM

NCAA moving kickoffs, touchbacks

Story Highlights

College football kickoffs will move from the 30 to the 35-yard line in 2012

Touchbacks will also be moved from the 20 to the 25-yard yard line

The rule changes are an effort to limit injuries and improve player safety

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Kickoffs in major college football will move from the 30 to the 35-yard line next season, a change intended to keep players safer.

The change was approved this week by the NCAA playing rules oversight panel, which also said the running start by players on the kicking team will be limited to 5 yards

The NFL moved up kickoffs 5 yards this past season and touchbacks increased dramatically. Another new NCAA rule involving free kicks will move touchbacks from the 20 to the 25-yard line, a move intended to encourage more touchbacks.

The panel also approved a rule that will require a player who loses his helmet during a play to leave the game for one play, and there are also new guidelines regarding blocking below the waist and blocking on punt returns. Players will also be prohibited from leaping over blockers when trying to block punts.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
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