CHANGES IN FOOTBALL RULES
The objective of the football rules committee should be to reduce to a minimum, without emasculating the game, the possibility of physical injuries to the prayers. To this might be added the opening up of the play for the benefit of the spectators. These reforms the committee purposes to effect by direct technical prohibitions, and by making such rules as will encourage open plays and make concerted attack on one park of the line not a reasonable method of gaining ground.
With these points in view, the committee has proceeded with conscious deliberateness to make tentative rules for trial in the spring football practice of the various colleges. The rules, so far as they go, promise well to accomplish the desired results; but, of course, the committee has not yet really given any definite form to the revised game, as the actual phrasing of the rules has not been attempted, and the question of keeping the forward, pass, which is the crux of the whole situation, has not been settled at all. The rules which have been laid down so far, however, will doubtless make the ass play less useful and a great deal less dangerous; and if the proposed prohibition of the diving tackle can be so framed as to make it practical, another danger will have been eliminated. It is generally recognized that the mass play and the diving tackle have been responsible for the most accidents; and, if the committee has succeeded in legislating away these dangers, it has already accomplished much. By diving the game into four periods, a better opportunity will be given to watch the physical condition of the men. This will help to prevent injuries from exhaustion as a secondary cause. A discussion of the details of the forward pass cannot be entered into here; but it may be noted, however, that if the defensive ends and tackles can be protected in some way, it should be kept as all excellent method of opening up the game. If this is done, the penalty for an unsuccessful pass should be removed, for this penalty now makes it so dangerous an expedient that the frequent use of the forward pass is naturally avoided.
The work of the committee so far, then, appears to be well considered and practical, and the suggestions for further changes sound plausible. The committee is right in taking plenty of time to consider carefully each change and its effect, and the present development indicate that the final regulations will prove satisfactory.