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Why college football fans need to hustle back to their seats during halftime this season

The Duke band takes the field for the halftime show during loss against Northwestern at Wallace Wade Stadium on September 19, 2015.
The Duke band takes the field for the halftime show during loss against Northwestern at Wallace Wade Stadium on September 19, 2015. cliddy@newsobserver.com

College football fans will have a few minutes less during their halftime breaks this season.

In an effort to shorten the length of games, college football officials will be strictly monitoring the rule that limits halftimes to 20 minutes.

According to Rogers Redding, the national coordinator of College Football Officiating, schools were previously allowed to mutually agree to extend the length of halftime beyond 20 minutes. But because the length of FBS games has grown from an average of three hours, nine minutes in 2008 to three hours, 22 minutes last season, the NCAA football rules committee is studying ways to stem this tide.

Halftime is the target this season.

NFL halftimes are only 12 minutes for regular-season games. The college rule is 20 minutes and the plan is for it to be strictly adhered to this season.

“The referees are being instructed to start the 20-minute halftime countdown as soon as the first half ends, per the language of the rule,” Redding said in a news release from the National Football Foundation.

In addition, schools may agree to make halftime shorter than 20 minutes. Unlike in season’s past, it can’t be longer than 20 minutes.

“The hope is that these steps will halt the trend for longer game times,” Redding said.

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