Grid Rules Shift On Conversions, Safeties, Centers

(This is the second and concluding article in the CRIMSON's series on football rule revisions.)

Under the old rules, any foul committed by the defensive team on an extra-point attempt was ignored if the try was successful. Now, if th defense fouls during a successful attempt, it will be penalized on the ensuing kickoff.


Another rule change may have a slight, adverse effect on scoring. Formerly, any time a ball carrier was downed in his own end zone, the other team was credited with a two-point safety. This rule neglected cases where a defending player received a punt or intercepted a pass near his own goal line, and then was carried by his own backward momentum into the end zone to fall or be tackled before he could change direction.

This year if a player is involuntarily carried into the end zone--and downed there--the ball will be declared dead in his possession at the spot on the field where he caught it. The new ruling applies only to involuntary entrance into the end zone. Any player who tries to circle back through the end zone to elude tacklers is still legally liable to be downed for a safety.


No Trickery

Until this year, shrewd centers had attempted to draw defensive linemen offside by pretending to snap the ball. If a player was lured offside by this maneuver, he was guilty of an offside foul, and his team was penalized five yards.

A new rule will eliminate such tactics. Once the center has assumed his stance and has adjusted the ball for the snap, he may neither move the ball nor change its position in any way until actually snapping it.

Movements of this sort will draw an automatic five-yard penalty, whether or not the ball is snapped. Moreover, the penalty for any resultant offside by the defense will be cancelled.

The final rule change erases the five-yard penalties for flying blocks and tackles. This rule was so neglected that the committee eliminated it entirely.