The Ivy League will move kickoffs up to the 40-yard line

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Wednesday July 20, 2016


The Ivy League will continue its push on player safety by moving kickoffs up to the 40-yard line this season in an experimental rule. This will only apply to conference games. 

That’s five yards upfield from the current position. In addition, the touchback start will be moved back to the 20-yard line. This comes as the AFCA and oversight committee have had preliminary discussions on eliminating the kickoff.

“The Ivy League is interested in the experimental rule to see if altering the kickoff location will bolster safety by increasing the number of touchbacks,” the NCAA said in a release.

In March, the Ivy League coaches voted to ban all in-season tackling in practice. Dartmouth already does this and says it resulted in fewer injuries and better tackling.

Next February, the Ivy League will report kickoff data to the NCAA rules committee on how many kicks reach the end zone, result in touchbacks, are fielded by players and other numbers, but also report on kickoff injuries, including:

- The total number of injuries on kickoffs

- The total number of concussions on all plays.

- The total number of concussions on kickoffs.

- The total number of concussions on kickoffs that result in touchbacks.

- The total number of concussions on kickoffs returned from the end zone.

- The total number of concussions on kickoffs returned from outside the end zone.

Nick Saban said Tuesday that he doesn't want to get rid of the kickoff, but that player safety trumps all. Given that field position, I’ll also be interested if there will be an uptick in onside kicks.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.