Course Content
Rule – 4 Ball in Play, Dead Ball, Out of Bounds
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Rule 11 – The Officials: Jurisdiction and Duties
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Appendix A Game-Official Guidelines for Serious On-Field Player Injuries
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Appendix B Lightning Policy
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Appendix C Concussions
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Appendix D Field Diagrams
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Appendix E Equipment: Additional Details
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Appendix F – Official Football Signals
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Appendix G Summary of Penalties
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Appendix H Accommodations for Student-Athletes with Disabilities
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Part II: Interpretations
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Table of Contents for Approved Rulings
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List of New and Modified Approved Rulings
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NCAA Rules
About Lesson

ARTICLE 1. Players of either team may block opponents, provided it is not pass interference, interference with the opportunity to catch a kick or a personal foul (Exception: Rules 6-1-12 and 6-5-4).

Interfering for or Helping the Ball Carrier or Passer

ARTICLE 2. a. The ball carrier or passer may use their hand or arm to ward off or push opponents.

  1. The ball carrier shall not grasp a teammate; and no other teammate shall grasp, pull, or lift the ball carrier to assist in forward (A.R. 9-3-2-I)
  2. Teammates of the ball carrier or passer may interfere with opponents by blocking but shall not use interlocked interference by grasping or encircling one another in any manner while contacting an opponent.

PENALTY—Five yards [S44].

Holding and Use of Hands or Arms: Offense

ARTICLE 3. a. Use of Hands. A teammate of a ball carrier or a passer legally may block with their shoulders, their hands, the outer surface of their arms or any other part of their body under the following provisions.

  1. The hand(s) shall be:
    • In advance of the

 

 

  • Inside the frame of the opponent’s body (Exception: When the opponent turns their back to the blocker) (A.R. 9-3-3-VI and VII).
  • At or below the shoulder(s) of the blocker and the opponent (Exception: When the opponent squats, ducks or submarines).
  • Apart and never in a locked
  1. The hand(s) shall be open with the palm(s) facing the frame of the opponent or closed or cupped with the palms not facing the opponent (A.R. 9-3-3-I-IV and VI-VIII).
  1. The hand(s) and arm(s) shall not be used to grasp, pull, hook, clamp or encircle in any way that illegally impedes or illegally obstructs an opponent.

PENALTY—10 yards Penalties for Team A fouls behind the neutral zone are enforced from the previous spot. Safety if the foul occurs behind Team A’s goal line [S42].

  1. Kicking Team. A player on the kicking team may:
    1. During a scrimmage kick play, use their hand(s) and/or arm(s) to ward off an opponent attempting to block them when they are beyond the neutral zone.
    2. During a free kick play, use their hand(s) and/or arm(s) to ward off an opponent who is attempting to block them.
    3. During a scrimmage kick play or a free kick play, when they are eligible to touch the ball, legally use their hand(s) and/or arm(s) to push an opponent in an attempt to reach a loose ball.
  2. Passing Team. An eligible player of the passing team legally may use their hand(s) and/or arm(s) to ward off or push an opponent in an attempt to reach a loose ball after a legal forward pass has been touched by any player or official (Rules 7-3-5, 7-3-8, 7-3-9 and 7-3-11).

Holding and Use of Hands or Arms: Defense

ARTICLE 4. a. Defensive players may use hands and arms to push, pull, ward off or lift offensive players:

  1. When attempting to reach the
  2. Who are obviously attempting to block
  1. A defensive player legally may use their hands or arms to ward off or block an opponent in an attempt to reach a loose ball (Rule 9-1-5, Exceptions 3 and 4 and Rule 9-3-6, Exceptions 3 and 5):
    1. During a backward pass, fumble or kick that they are eligible to
    2. During any forward pass that crossed the neutral zone and has been touched by any player or official.
  2. When making no attempt to get at the ball or the runner, defensive players must comply with Article 3, paragraphs a and b
  3. Defensive players may not use hands and arms to tackle, hold or otherwise illegally obstruct an opponent other than a runner.
  4. Defensive players may ward off or legally block an eligible pass receiver until that player occupies the same yard line as the defender or until the opponent could not possibly block Continuous contact is illegal (A.R. 9-3-5-I).

PENALTY [c-e]—10 or 15 yards [S38, S42, S43 or S45].

 

Use of Hands or Arms by Defense: Passing Downs

ARTICLE 5. During a legal forward pass play in which the pass crosses the neutral zone, if before the pass is touched there is a contact foul by Team B beyond the neutral zone against an eligible receiver (other than pass interference), the penalty includes an automatic first down.

PENALTY—10 or 15 yards and automatic first down if the first down is not in conflict with other rules [S38].

Blocking in the Back

ARTICLE 6. A block in the back (other than against the ball carrier) is illegal (A.R. 9-3-3-I, VII and -IX; and A.R. 10-2-2-XII).

Exceptions:
  1. Offensive players who are on the line of scrimmage at the snap within the blocking zone (Rule 2-3-6) may legally block in the back in the blocking zone, subject to the following restrictions:
    • A player on the line of scrimmage within this blocking zone may not leave the zone, return and block in the back.
    • The blocking zone disintegrates when the ball leaves the zone (Rule 2-3-6).
  2. When a player turns their back to a potential blocker who has committed themselves in intent and direction or movement.
  3. When a player attempts to reach a runner or legally attempts to recover or catch a fumble, a backward pass, a kick or a touched forward pass, they may push an opponent in the back above the waist (Rule 9-1-5 Exception 3).
  4. When the opponent turns their back to the blocker under Rule 9-3-3-a-1-(b).
  5. When an eligible player behind the neutral zone pushes an opponent in the back above the waist to get to a forward pass (Rule 9-1-5 Exception 4).

PENALTY—10 yards. Penalties for Team A fouls behind the neutral zone are enforced from the previous spot. Safety if the foul occurs behind Team A’s goal line. [S43].

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