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BAFA Rules Committee

 

Blocking below the waist rules

From 2014, the blocking below the waist rule has been changed.

Restrictions on Team A (the offense)

  • Players stationary inside the low-blocking zone (the tackle box extended 5 yards onto the defensive side of the line of scrimmage) at the snap may block below the waist in any direction provided the ball is still inside the zone.
  • Other players (and all players once the ball has left the zone) may only block below the waist if the force of the contact is from the front. The rule talks about a clock face region between "10 o'clock" and "2 o'clock" forward of the player being blocked.
  • Once the ball has left the zone, nobody can block below the waist back towards the end line (a "peel back" block).
  • A crackback block below the waist is still prohibited.

Restrictions on Team B (the defense)

  • Defensive players can only block below the waist within an area within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage.
  • As before, defensive players are prohibited from blocking below the waist any eligible receiver beyond the line of scrimmage, or an opponent in position to receive a backward pass.

Restrictions on both teams

  • As before, blocking below the waist is prohibited by both teams after there has been a change of possession.
  • As before, blocking below the waist is prohibited by both teams on a kicking play.
  • The one exception to both of the above is that a block below the waist can be used to tackle the ball carrier.

 

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