Rule 9 – Section 1 – Article 6 – Blocking Below the Waist
a. Team A prior to a change of team possession:
Linemen with initial position completely inside the tackle box may legally block below the waist inside the tackle box or the free-blocking zone until the ball leaves the tackle box. All other Team A players are allowed to block below the waist only if the force of the initial contact is directed from the front. “Directed from the front” is defined as within the clock face region between “10 o’clock and 2 o’clock” forward of the area of concentration of the player being blocked.
- Team A players may not block below the waist when the block occurs five yards or more beyond the neutral zone.
- Players outside the tackle box at the snap or any time after the snap, or who are in motion at the snap may not block below the waist toward the original position of the ball at the snap.
- Once the ball has left the tackle box, a player may not block below the waist toward his own end line.
b. Team B prior to a change of team possession:
Other than in paragraphs 2 and 3 (below), players of Team B may block below the waist only within the area defined by lines parallel to the goal line five yards beyond and behind the neutral zone extended to the sidelines. To be legal, this block must be directed from the front. Blocking below the waist by players of Team B outside this zone is illegal except against the ball carrier. (A.R. 9-1-6:VI, IX)
Players of Team B may not block below the waist against an opponent who is in position to receive a backward pass.
Players of Team B may not block below the waist against an eligible Team A pass receiver beyond the neutral zone unless attempting to get to the ball or ball carrier. This prohibition ends when a legal forward pass is no longer possible by rule.
During a down in which there is a free kick or scrimmage kick, blocking below the waist by any player is illegal except against a ball carrier
d. After change of team possession:
After any change of team possession, blocking below the waist by any player is illegal except against a ball carrier.
e. Clipping. No player may violate Rule 9-1-5 (Clipping).