Reviews - NFL Sportsbooks - Wager On Football - NFL Football
Use of Hands, Arms, and Body
1. No player on offense may assist a runner except
by blocking for him. There shall be no interlocking
2. A runner may ward off opponents with his hands
and arms but no other player on offense may use
hands or arms to obstruct an opponent by grasping
with hands, pushing, or encircling any part of his
body during a block. Hands (open or closed) can
be thrust forward to initially contact an opponent
on or outside the opponent’s frame, but the
blocker immediately must work to bring his hands
on or inside the frame.
Note: Pass blocking: Hand(s) thrust forward that
slip outside the body of the defender will be legal
if blocker immediately worked to bring them back
inside. Hand(s) or arm(s) that encircle a defender—i.e.,
hook an opponent—are to be considered illegal
and officials are to call a foul for holding.
Blocker cannot use his hands or arms to push from
behind, hang onto, or encircle an opponent in a
manner that restricts his movement as the play develops.
3. Hands cannot be thrust forward above the frame
to contact an opponent on the neck, face or head.
Note: The frame is defined as the part of the opponent’s
body below the neck that is presented to the blocker.
4. A defensive player may not tackle or hold an
opponent other than a runner. Otherwise, he may
use his hands, arms, or body only:
(a) To defend or protect himself against an obstructing
Exception: An eligible receiver is considered to
be an obstructing opponent ONLY to a point five
yards beyond the line of scrimmage unless the player
who receives the snap clearly demonstrates no further
intention to pass the ball. Within this five-yard
zone, a defensive player may chuck an eligible player
in front of him. A defensive player is allowed to
maintain continuous and unbroken contact within
the five-yard zone until a point when the receiver
is even with the defender. The defensive player
cannot use his hands or arms to push from behind,
hang onto, or encircle an eligible receiver in a
manner that restricts movement as the play develops.
Beyond this five-yard limitation, a defender may
use his hands or arms ONLY to defend or protect
himself against impending contact caused by a receiver.
In such reaction, the defender may not contact a
receiver who attempts to take a path to evade him.
(b) To push or pull opponent out of the way on
line of scrimmage.
(c) In actual attempt to get at or tackle runner.
(d) To push or pull opponent out of the way in
a legal attempt to recover a loose ball.
(e) During a legal block on an opponent who is
not an eligible pass receiver.
(f) When legally blocking an eligible pass receiver
above the waist.
Exception: Eligible receivers lined up within two
yards of the tackle, whether on or immediately behind
the line, may be blocked below the waist at or behind
the line of scrimmage. NO eligible receiver may
be blocked below the waist after he goes beyond
the line. (Illegal cut)
Note: Once the quarterback hands off or pitches
the ball to a back, or if the quarterback leaves
the pocket area, the restrictions (illegal chuck,
illegal cut) on the defensive team relative to the
offensive receivers will end, provided the ball
is not in the air.
5. A defensive player may not contact an opponent
above the shoulders with the palm of his hand except
to ward him off on the line. This exception is permitted
only if it is not a repeated act against the same
opponent during any one contact. In all other cases
the palms may be used on head, neck, or face only
to ward off or push an opponent in legal attempt
to get at the ball.
6. Any offensive player who pretends to possess
the ball or to whom a teammate pretends to give
the ball may be tackled provided he is crossing
his scrimmage line between the ends of a normal
tight offensive line.
7. An offensive player who lines up more than two
yards outside his own tackle or a player who, at
the snap, is in a backfield position and subsequently
takes a position more than two yards outside a tackle
may not clip an opponent anywhere nor may he contact
an opponent below the waist if the blocker is moving
toward the ball and if contact is made within an
area five yards on either side of the line. (crackback)
8. A player of either team may block at any time
provided it is not pass interference, fair catch
interference, or unnecessary roughness.
9. A player may not bat or punch:
(a) A loose ball (in field of play) toward his
opponent’s goal line or in any direction in
either end zone.
(b) A ball in player possession.
Note: If there is any question as to whether a
defender is stripping or batting a ball in player
possession, the official(s) will rule the action
as a legal act (stripping the ball).
Exception: A forward or backward pass may be batted,
tipped, or deflected in any direction at any time
by either the offense or the defense.
Note: A pass in flight that is controlled or caught
may only be thrown backward, if it is thrown forward
it is considered an illegal bat.
10. No player may deliberately kick any ball except
as a punt, dropkick, or placekick.