get to know the ‘Targeting’ rule

Rules 9-1-3 and 9-1-4 in the NCAA rule book can be a costly one. Highlights:

“Targeting” means that a player takes aim at an opponent for purposes of attacking with forcible contact that goes beyond making a legal tackle or a legal block or playing the ball. Some indicators of targeting include but are not limited to:

• A player leaving his feet (“launching”) to attack an opponent by an upward and forward thrust of the body to make contact in the head or neck area. If an upward attack occurs from a crouch position, without the player leaving his feet, it still can be a foul.

• Leading with helmet, forearm, fist, hand or elbow to attack with contact to the head or neck area.

• Lowering the head before attacking by initiating contact with the crown of the helmet.

When any of this is in question, it is a foul.

Penalty: 15 yards, automatic first down. For dead-ball fouls, 15 yards from the succeeding spot. For fouls in the first half: Disqualification for the remainder of the game. For fouls in the second half: Disqualification for the remainder of the game and the first half of the next game. The disqualification is subject to review by replay.