Update on ACC rules changes: Home and home jerseys?

May, 12, 2009
5/12/09
11:37
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -- Here's a fun note for you from Doug Rhoads, the ACC's coordinator of officials.

Teams no longer have to wear their white uniforms in games, as long as both teams agree to it, in writing, before the game.

So if Maryland wants to wear red uniforms at North Carolina, and the Tar Heels want to wear navy blue, it's OK, as long as they both agree to it. This took off after both Southern Cal and UCLA decided to wear their colored jerseys against each other.

The whole reason teams had to wear white and colored uniforms was because of the old black and white TVs.

Another rule change for 2009 will be the definition of the tackle box. It's now 5 yards from the center of the offensive line formation. This will help both the referee and the quarterback determine whether it's OK for the quarterback to throw the ball away or if it's intentional grounding.

They've also added that it's a 15-yard penalty if a player is tackled by his chinstrap. (I've seen the facemask tackle, but never the chinstrap. Neither has Rhoads.) Basically, defenders can't tackle opponents by grabbing the inside of their helmet opening.

One other tweak to the rules is that it's not an illegal formation to have less than seven players on the line. The thinking is, why penalize a team for being at a disadvantage? As long as there are five players with jersey numbers 50-70 (you know, the offensive linemen), it's acceptable. They'd like to see seven on the line of scrimmage and four in the backfield.

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