Course Content
Rule – 4 Ball in Play, Dead Ball, Out of Bounds
Rule 11 – The Officials: Jurisdiction and Duties
Appendix A Game-Official Guidelines for Serious On-Field Player Injuries
Appendix B Lightning Policy
Appendix C Concussions
Appendix D Field Diagrams
Appendix E Equipment: Additional Details
Appendix F – Official Football Signals
Appendix G Summary of Penalties
Appendix H Accommodations for Student-Athletes with Disabilities
Part II: Interpretations
Table of Contents for Approved Rulings
List of New and Modified Approved Rulings
NCAA Rules
About Lesson

A. Details Regarding Illegal Equipment

  1. Hard or unyielding substances are permitted, if covered, only to protect an
  2. Hand and arm protectors (covered casts or splints) are permitted only to protect a fracture or dislocation.
  3. Thigh guards may not be made of any hard substances, unless all surfaces are covered with material such as closed-cell vinyl foam that is at least 1/4- inch thick on the outside surface and at least 3/8-inch thick on the inside surface and the overlaps of the edges.
  4. Shin guards must be covered on both sides and all edges with closed-cell, slow-recovery foam padding at least 1/2-inch thick, or an alternate material of the same minimum thickness having similar physical properties.
  5. Therapeutic or preventive knee braces must be worn under the pants and entirely covered from direct external exposure.
  6. There may be no projection of metal or other hard substance from a player’s person or clothing.
  7. Shoe cleats (Rule 9-2-2-e) must conform to the following specifications:
    1. They may not be more than 1/2-inch in length (measured from tip of cleat to the shoe). (See below for an exception for detachable cleats.)
    2. They may not be made of any material that burrs, chips or
    3. They may not have abrasive surfaces or cutting
    4. Nondetachable cleats only may not be made of any metallic
    5. Detachable cleats:
      • Must have an effective locking
      • May not have concave
      • If conical they may not have flat free ends not parallel to their bases or less than 3/8-inch in diameter or rounded free ends having arcs greater than 7/16-inch.
      • If oblong they may not have free ends not parallel with bases or that measure less than 1/4-inch by 3/4-inch.
      • If circular or ring-shaped they must have rounded edges and a wall at least 3/16-inch thick.
      • If steel-tipped they must contain low carbon steel of 1006 material, case hardened to .005-.008 depth and drawn to Rockwell hardness of approximately C55.

Note: The distance in paragraph (a) for detachable cleats may exceed ½ inch if the cleat is attached to a 5/32-inch or less raised platform wider than the base of the cleat and extended across the width of the shoe to within 1/4-inch or less





of the outer edges of the sole. A single toe cleat does not require a raised platform that extends across the width of the sole. The raised platform of the toe cleat is limited to 5/32-inch or less. The 5/32-inch or less is measured from the lowest point of the platform to the sole of the shoe.

  1. The facemask must be constructed of nonbreakable material with rounded edges covered with resilient material designed to prevent chipping, burrs or an abrasiveness that would endanger players.
  2. Shoulder pads may not have the leading edge of the epaulet rounded with a radius more than one-half the thickness of the material used.
  3. No equipment that endangers other players may be worn. Artificial limbs are permitted, provided:
  • An artificial limb must not give the wearer any advantage in
  • If necessary, the artificial limb should be padded to rebound as a natural limb.
    1. Insignia, logos, labels:
      1. Uniforms and all other items of apparel (e.g., warm-ups, socks, headbands, T-shirts, wristbands, visors, hats or gloves) may bear only a single manufacturer’s or distributor’s normal label or trademark (regardless of the visibility of the label or trademark) not to exceed

2.25 square inches in area (e.g.., rectangle, square, parallelogram) including any additional material (e.g., patch) surrounding the normal trademark or logo. See also Rule 1-4-6-d

  1. No sizing, garment-care or other non-logo labels shall be on the outside of the uniform.
  2. Professional league logos are

B.   New Equipment

The NCAA Football Rules Committee is responsible for formulating the official playing rules for the sport. It is not responsible for testing or approving playing equipment for use in intercollegiate football.

Equipment manufacturers must develop playing equipment that meets the specifications established by the committee. The NCAA urges manufacturers to work with the various independent testing agencies to ensure the production of safe products. Neither the NCAA nor the committee certifies the safety of any football equipment. Only equipment that meets the dimensions and specifications in the NCAA Football Rules and Interpretations may be used in intercollegiate competition.

While the committee neither regulates the development of new equipment and nor sets technical or scientific standards for testing equipment, on occasion it may provide manufacturers with guidelines regarding the equipment-performance levels it considers consistent with the integrity of the game. The committee reserves the right to intercede to protect and maintain that integrity.

The NCAA Football Rules Committee suggests that manufacturers planning innovative changes in football equipment submit the equipment to the NCAA Football Rules Committee for review before production.


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