“They are telling the officials when in doubt to throw the player out.
“It is going to be interesting to see how the officials interpret that rule. This is an important rule. It could change a ball game.
“The penalty is huge. They are also eliminating ‘chicken fighting ‘ (when receivers and defensive backs engage on running plays away from their side). It is now a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct/personal foul penalty.
“If a player gets two of those in a game he is ejected. Again, it will all be in the judgement of the officials. They also tried to simplify the crack back, blocking-below-the-waist rules, but I am not certain that they have. But all of the rules changes are done for the safety of the kids, and I agree we have to keep the kids safe.”
A local football official, who wishes to remain anonymous, said the targeting rule will be a tough rule to call. He also said high school will not get the benefit of replay to determine if a player used the crown of his helmet to hit the head of the ball carrier. The new rule directs officials, if the game is on TV, to check a replay to either confirm or change the call.
“When the NCAA puts out a new rule like this, they do not think that the rules will also be changed at the Division II and III levels, junior colleges and high schools,” the official said. “NCAA Division I games are on television and they can use replay that high schools cannot. So when the rule reads that officials can take another look at a blow-to-the-head penalty on replay to double check, well, we can’t do that at the high school level.
“I can’t speak for any official but myself, but if I see that a kid is trying to make a play and not targeting a ball carrier then I don’t see how that would be interpreted as a penalty.