It wasn’t quite the Zapruder film that Walt Anderson showed the media on Tuesday morning. But it was a video presentation that was certainly dissected and second-guessed.
Anderson, the Big 12’s coordinator of officials, attempted to clarify the new targeting rules that are being implemented into college football. As part of the new rules, officials have the discretion to eject players that are whistled for “targeting,” a word that encompasses a handful of movements and football plays.
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“What we’re really trying to do,” Anderson said, “is change certain types of behavior out on the football field to the extent possible with a contact sport and avoid unnecessary hits to the head.’’
Anderson said officials have been taught to view targeting in four categories:
• A “launch,” where players leave their feet and move upwards toward an offensive player.
• A “thrust,” which is similar but does not involve a player leaving his feet.
• A “strike,” where a player uses his forearm or shoulder to intentionally deliver a blow to the head.
• And a “crown-of-the-helmet hit,” where a player lowers his head and uses his helmet to deliver a blow.
The push for stricter rules has intensified in recent years as research and studies into concussions have shown the potential dangers and long-term risks of head injuries.
“The game is certainly, from the standpoint of focus and attention, is somewhat under attack now,” Anderson said. “As you will see with some plays, probably rightfully so. It’s those types of unnecessary hits to the head that are clearly avoidable that really create the biggest problem.”