Redding to be Secretary Rules Editor

Published 4:25 pm Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I want to offer a little more detail about Southeastern Conference Supervisor of Officials Rogers Redding becoming the Secretary-Rules Editor for the NCAA Football Rules Committee.

Rogers will actually take over the position in the summer of 2008. For the intervening year, he will “shadow” current Secretary-Rules Editor John Adams in that office.

Redding’s duties with the NCAA Rules Committee will not interfere with his SEC Supervising role. The honor bestowed on Rogers Redding reflects favorably on Southeastern Conference football officiating.

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Several college football rules changes for the 2007 season will be obvious to the ardent fan. Several of those changes are designed to return the way the game is timed to the pre-2006 rules. On kickoffs, the clock will hereafter start when the ball is legally touched in the field of play, rather than when the ball is kicked. Team timeouts will now be 30 seconds (plus the 25 second play clock) rather than the previous 60 seconds.

The referee will now start the clock when the ball is snapped after a change of team possession, rather than on the “ready” as in 2006.

For the 2007 season, there will also be a 40-second clock, but I will need to see the actual rulebook before I am clear on how that is going to work. There were so many exceptions to that rule that I could not get it clearly in my mind.

A good change — if it works — is that instant replay will now be limited to two minutes. I don’t know how they are going to enforce that change.

In 2007, the kicking team must now kick from the 30 yard line. This is supposed to result in more kick returns, speeding up play. I remember when it was moved to the 35 yard line from the 40, the same thing was supposed to happen.

A couple of things have been added to the list of “reviewable” situations.

A missed down may now be corrected, but only during that series of downs. A tackle or other interference from the bench area, otherwise undetected, may be enforced by review. Also, whether a kick is caught or muffed may be reviewed.

An interesting change was made about equipment.

A helmet, with face mask, must be worn and it must have a four or six point chin strap, secured. Helmets only became mandatory in 1939, and were not even recommended equipment until 1933.

Prior to that time, if they were worn, they had to have cross-stripes “two inches wide” of contrasting colors.

It was not until 1946 that players were required to have numbers on the front and back of their jerseys. In later years, rules had to cover numbers worn on the helmets, jersey sleeves, and even socks and shoes of players. Now you see them on sweatbands and chin straps.

The only hoops comment I will make is that sectional pride makes me proud that Florida has again beaten Ohio State, this time for the college National Championship in basketball.

And, that’s official.

Al Graning is a former SEC official and former Natchez resident. He can be reached by e-mail at