Rule 9 – Section 1 – Article 5 – Clipping
There shall be no clipping (Rule 2-5).
- Offensive players who are on the line of scrimmage at the snap within the free- blocking zone (Rule 2-3-6) legally may clip in the free-blocking zone, subject to the following restrictions:
(a) A player in the free-blocking zone may not block an opponent with the force of the initial contact from behind and at or below the knee.
(b) A player on the line of scrimmage within the free-blocking zone may not leave the zone and return and legally clip.
(c) No player may violate Rule 9-1-6 (Blocking Below the Waist).
NOTE: 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 attempts to legally recover or catch a fumble, a backward pass, a kick or a touched forward pass, he may push an opponent below the waist at or to the buttocks (Rule 9-3-6 Exception 3).
- When an eligible player behind the neutral zone pushes an opponent below the waist at or to the buttocks to get to a forward pass (Rule 9-3-6 Exception 5).
- Clipping is allowed against the ball carrier or simulated ball carrier.