The 2023 school soccer season is simply weeks away.
The yr forward may very well be transformative for the game, with convention motion, the switch portal, and NIL offers altering the character of school soccer. However these aren’t the one modifications coming to the sport. When “Week 0” kicks off on the finish of August, some new guidelines will probably be in impact for the faculty recreation.
So earlier than issues get going, we thought it made sense to run by way of the foremost new guidelines, to prepare for the season.
New timing guidelines
Three of the six rule modifications contain timing, the stoppage of play, and the circulation of the sport. The NCAA Taking part in Guidelines Oversight Panel is trying to reasonably scale back the variety of performs over the course of a given recreation, and enhance the circulation and tempo of play.
Listed below are the three guidelines below this class of modifications.
Stopping and beginning the clock
Beforehand in school soccer, the sport clock was stopped when the offense gained a primary down. This rule has been modified for the 2023 season, and the clock will cease on an offensive first down solely within the closing two minutes of every half.
With two minutes remaining within the second quarter, the clock will cease when the offense positive aspects a primary down. That may even apply within the closing two minutes of the sport.
This rule goes into speedy impact for Division 1 and Division 2 school soccer, and will probably be applied on the Division 3 stage for 2024.
Consecutive timeouts by a single workforce are not allowed throughout a dead-ball interval.
Every workforce has three charged workforce timeouts throughout every half. Nonetheless, no a couple of charged workforce timeout is out there per workforce, throughout every dead-ball interval.
Extension of quarters
Beforehand, any quarter can be prolonged an extra, untimed down if a penalty occurred on the ultimate play of the quarter.
Beginning in 2023, solely the second or fourth quarters will probably be prolonged an extra, untimed down within the case of a penalty, an inadvertent whistle, or offsetting penalties. Ought to such a state of affairs happen within the first or third quarter, the penalty will carry over to the following quarter, and the quarter is not going to be prolonged an extra down.
Many school soccer packages began utilizing drones to create unimaginable content material on social media:
Nonetheless, don’t count on to see extra content material like this sooner or later.
That is the brand new drone coverage for school soccer, beginning in 2023: “Drones aren’t allowed over the sector or the workforce space when squad members are current throughout the enjoying enclosure. Outdoors the restrict traces, recreation administration (or convention coverage) will govern drone exercise. This governance contains all FAA, state, and native legal guidelines together with campus coverage the place acceptable.”
Some modifications are coming to halftime as effectively, particularly concerning when and the place gamers can warm-up for the second half.
Timing and area availability
In 2023, the sector will probably be out there for gamers to warm-up “no later than three minutes previous to the scheduled second-half kickoff.”
Ought to a participant enter the sector throughout halftime, they should be accompanied by a workers member.
Discipline utilization throughout halftime
Ought to a participant come onto the sector throughout halftime previous to the designated time interval famous above, they have to limit their actions to the designated workforce areas on the sideline. All kicking actions should be performed with gamers kicking into the supplied kicking nets, and all gamers and workers are to respect halftime actions and performances.
When the sector turns into out there — beginning three minutes earlier than the schedule second-half kickoff — the sector will probably be divided into an “L-shaped configuration” for the groups to warm-up.
Here’s a diagram from the 2023 Guidelines depicting the “L-shaped configuration:”
Beneath the NCAA Guidelines, “[a]ny member establishment might use on the spot replay, however there is no such thing as a requirement to take action. If on the spot replay is used, it should be utilized in full compliance with [the NCAA Rules.”
A change to the rules for this year involves some exceptions to the instant replay rules during games that do not have an instant replay booth official. Instant replay is still permissible in these situations, with some exceptions.
Personnel, equipment, and location
The referee is the sole decision-maker on any review, and can consult with one additional official during the review process.
Any replay equipment used in the review process “must be located outside the limit lines on the sideline or end zone and must be completely outside the team area.” The referee and additional crew member must be given a “separate, secure location away from fans and sideline personnel, with a tent or similar type shelter structure” where they can conduct the review.
A head coach challenge is the only way to initiate a replay review, other than reviews for targeting. “When the head coach requests a timeout for replay review, the replay challenge flag must be dropped onto the field of play.”
The officiating crew cannot stop play for a replay review, other than for targeting.
The referee will stop the game to review all targeting penalties that are called during the course of play.
A head coach can request a targeting review provided the team has both a timeout available, and a coach’s challenge remaining.
In recent years the NCAA altered blocking rules, particularly the rules regarding blocks below the waist. In a change made last year, blocking below the waist was permitted only inside the tackle box. Once a player leaves the tackle box, blocking below the waist — often referred to as “cut blocking” — was no longer allowed.
This rule change has seen teams like Army and other service academies decide to shift away from their under-center triple option game. Jeff Monken, the head coach at Army, made such a decision this spring.
In the 2023 Rules, the NCAA again clarifies the point regarding cut blocks with this hypothetical:
Back A21 is stationary and is lined up in the tackle box. Just after the snap A21 immediately releases outside the tackle box. QB A12 is in the pocket to pass and A21 sees linebacker B54 blitzing. A21 returns into the tackle box and before A12 throws the pass, blocks B54 below the waist in the tackle box and the block is directed from the front. RULING: Foul by A21 for an illegal block below the waist. Once a player leaves the tackle box during the play, that player is considered outside the tackle box for the remainder of the down. A21 1 may not block below the waist once considered outside the tackle box.
Monken insists that Army will still run the option, but it will look more like the speed-option designs the majority of teams in college football use. Monken has consulted with Liberty head coach Jamey Caldwell, whose innovative spread system is the envy of many, and studied by all who love Xs and Os.
“The biggest challenge I think coach Monken is gonna get hit with,” Chadwell said to The Athletic for a fascinating piece on this issue back in April, “is when you’re underneath center, (the option) hits so much faster. Your linemen, they’re coming off the ball so much faster because the fullback dive is right behind them. When you’re in the gun, it’s a slower process, and so the way you choose to block is different.”
As we said, the college game is going to look and feel a little different this fall.