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The Free Blocking zone ONLY exists during a scrimmage down. The Free Blocking zone is a rectangular area extending 4 yards to either side of the ball and.

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Presentation on theme: "The Free Blocking zone ONLY exists during a scrimmage down. The Free Blocking zone is a rectangular area extending 4 yards to either side of the ball and."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Free Blocking zone ONLY exists during a scrimmage down. The Free Blocking zone is a rectangular area extending 4 yards to either side of the ball and 3 yards behind each teams line of scrimmage. A player is considered in the zone if any part of his body is in the zone at the snap FREE BLOCKING ZONE

2 What blocking rule exceptions may exist in this zone? Blocking below the waist Clipping Blocking in the back What conditions allow for the blocking rule exceptions? The contact must occur in the zone. The ball must be present in the zone. The free blocking zone disintegrates when the ball leaves the zone and the exception for players to block below the waist, clip, or block in the back IS NOT to continue.

3 Which players are allowed to take advantage of these exceptions? Any offensive player that is on his line of scrimmage and inside the zone at the snap may block below the waist, clip, or block in the back. Any defensive player that is on his line of scrimmage and inside the zone at the snap may block below the waist. (A defensive player is considered on the line if he is within 1 yard of his line of scrimmage at the snap).

4 Who May Legally Block Below The Waist ? Rule A player (offense or defense) who was on his line of scrimmage and in the zone at the snap. (Against an opponent who was in the zone and on his line of at the snap). The contact was in the zone and prior to the ball leaving the zone.

5 Players shown in Green may block the opponents shown in Green below the waist.

6 Blocking Below the Waist (cont) When a shotgun, pistol or scrimmage kick formation is used, it is legal to block below the waist in the free blocking zone if the block is initiated immediately at the snap. If the first point of contact is initiated above the waist and the blocker then slides down while remaining in contact, it is not blocking below the waist A player being blocked can put his hands on the blocker to avoid the contact. Contact with only the opponent’s hands is not a foul Applies only when the opponents have one or both feet on the ground

7 Who may legally Clip? Rule Any offensive player who was on his line of scrimmage and in the zone at the snap. (Against an opponent who was in the zone and on his line of scrimmage at the snap). The contact was in the zone and prior to the ball leaving the zone.

8 Players shown in Green may Clip the opponents shown in Purple.

9 Who may legally Block in the Back? Rule Any offensive player who was on his line of scrimmage and in the zone at the snap. (Against an opponent who was in the zone at the snap). The contact was in the zone and prior to the ball leaving the zone.

10 Players shown in Green may legally block the opponents shown in Purple, in the Back.

11 Block in the Back (cont.) If the defender spins on a blocker who is attempting a legal block, the block is legal Defensive players are allowed to push an opponent in the back above the waist if they are trying to get to the runner or warding off a blocker. Players of either team may push or pull in the back when trying to reach a loose ball (fumble, backward pass, kick that is eligible to be touched, or a tipped forward pass)

12 Blocking Below the Waist vs. Chop Block A block below the waist from the front or side is often referred to as a “Cut Block”. A Cut Block is still an illegal block (block below the waist) unless it takes place in the free blocking zone and the offensive and defensive player was on the line of scrimmage at the snap A Chop Block is a completely different situation. It is a delayed block at or below the knees of an opponent who is in contact with a teammate of the player who is delivering the delayed low block in the free blocking zone. In NFHS rules the block no longer has to be delayed.

13 “Keys" to look for on Chop Blocks 1. Usually executed by linesman who have no defender head up on them (Uncovered offensive linemen should trigger a bell in the umpire’s brain) 2. The illegal block is usually thrown against interior defensive linesman not defensive ends 3. Chop blocks thrown after the zone has disintegrated should be ruled "blocks below the waist.“ Legal blocks: Illegal blocks: 1. High-High1. High-Low 2. Low-Low 2. Low-High

14 CRACK BACK BLOCKS Although not a formal definition, this term is used to describe a block delivered by an offensive player coming back towards the spot of the snap. Since the player was not inside the zone at the snap, the contact must be made above the waist and in the front or from the side.

15 Shotgun, Pistol or Scrimmage Kick Formations In order for the blocking rule exceptions to be legal in these situations, the blocks must occur immediately at the snap while the ball is still passing through the zone. NOTE: Delayed blocks that are covered by the blocking rule exceptions are illegal blocks, as the ball will have left the zone prior to the block.

16 NOTES FOR UMPIRES Know where BOTH the offensive and defensive men are lining up prior to and at the snap. (4 yards to each side of the ball) Remember that if any part of the player is in the zone he is considered to be in the zone. Except for Blocking in the back, the defensive player must have been on his line of scrimmage and in the zone for the clipping and blocks below the waist to be legal.

17 NOTES FOR WING OFFICIALS If the team is taking wide splits, the tight end may or may not be inside the zone. Wide Receivers, Split Ends, Slot Backs or Flankers are never eligible for blocking rule exceptions, since they are either not inside the zone or they are not on the line of scrimmage at the snap.

18 NOTES FOR REFEREES Running backs and Quarterbacks are never eligible for blocking rule exceptions, since they are not on their line of scrimmage at the snap. Know where the ball is - has it left the zone prior to the block?

19 ALL OFFICIALS First - need to see where the initial contact with the opponent is. (above/below the waist, in front/on the side/from behind.) Second - determine if the contact is inside the free blocking zone. Third - determine if the free blocking zone still exists or has it disintegrated.

20 POINTS OF EMPHASIS CHOP BLOCKS Chop blocking is a very dangerous and illegal blocking technique in the free blocking zone. It does not matter whether the ball has left the zone or not. Officials simply need to know that there was a second block at or below the knees, of a player that is already engaged by another blocker.

21 POINTS OF EMPHASIS BLOCKS BELOW THE WAIST Only players (Offense or Defense) who are on their line of scrimmage and in the zone at the snap are eligible to block and be blocked below the waist. Officials should watch for backs, especially while in a scrimmage kick or shotgun formation, that may be blocking below the waist. Officials should also watch for defensive players “cutting” the lead blockers coming out of the backfield.

22 Holding/Illegal use of hands Grasping, encircling, hooking, pulling, etc., that illegally obstructs an opponent. A foul only when it affects the play and if an advantage is gained. (officiate the point of attack for holding). Hands that contact the head or neck area should be treated as a personal foul, not illegal use of hands unless the hands are removed immediately after the contact A blow directly to the head area, is a personal foul, not illegal use of hands Most generally when pass blocking an opponent it is not holding when the defender remains in front of the blocker. You’re more likely to have holding if the blocker gets beat and the defender is to the side of him or past him.

23 WHEN IN DOUBT It is legal use of the hands rather than holding or illegal use of the hands The contact is above the waist (for blocking below the waist and block in the back) It is a block at the side rather than behind (for block in the back or clipping) As to disintegration of the free blocking zone, assume it is intact The contact is delayed or simultaneous and at the knees or below (for chop block)


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