Rule 9 – Section 3 – Article 6 – Blocking in the Back
A block in the back (other than against the ball carrier) is illegal. (A.R. 9-3-3:I, VII and IX) (A.R. 10-2-2:XII)
- Offensive players who are on the line of scrimmage at the snap within the free- blocking zone (Rule 2-3-6) may legally block in the back in the free-blocking zone, subject to the following restrictions:
- A player on the line of scrimmage within this free-blocking zone may not leave the zone, return and block in the back.
- The free-blocking zone disintegrates when the ball leaves the zone (Rule 2-3-6).
- When a player turns his back to a potential blocker who has committed himself in intent and direction of movement.
- When a player attempts to reach a ball carrier or simulated ball carrier or legally attempts to recover or catch a fumble, a backward pass, a kick or a touched forward pass, he may push an opponent in the back above the waist (Rule 9-1-5 Exception 3).
- When the opponent turns his back to the blocker under Rule 9-3-3-a-1-b.
- 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: IBB].