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NCAA moves kickoffs to 35-yard line

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Kickoffs in major college football will move from the 30 to the 35-yard line next season, a change intended to keep players safer.

The change was approved this week by the NCAA playing rules oversight panel, which also said the running start by players on the kicking team will be limited to 5 yards

The NFL moved up kickoffs five yards this past season and touchbacks increased dramatically. Another new NCAA rule involving free kicks will move touchbacks from the 20 to the 25-yard line, a move intended to encourage more touchbacks.

The panel also approved a rule that will require a player who loses his helmet during a play to leave the game for one play, and there are also new guidelines regarding blocking below the waist and blocking on punt returns. Players will also be prohibited from leaping over blockers when trying to block punts.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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