Rule 9 – Section 3 – Article 4 – Holding and Use of Hands or Arms: Defense
a. Defensive players may use hands and arms to push, pull, ward off or lift offensive players:
- When attempting to reach the ball carrier or simulated ball carrier
- Who are obviously attempting to block them.
b. A defensive player legally may use his 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):
- During a backward pass, fumble or kick that he is eligible to touch.
- During any forward pass that crossed the neutral zone and has been touched by any player or official.
c. When making no attempt to get at the ball or the ball carrier or simulated ball carrier, defensive players must comply with Rules 9-3-3-a and 9-3-3-b above.
d. Defensive players may not use hands and arms to tackle, hold or otherwise illegally obstruct an opponent other than a ball carrier or simulated ball carrier.
e. 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 him. Continuous contact is illegal. (A.R. 9-3-5:I)
PENALTY − [c-e] 10 or 15 yards [S38, S42, S43 or S45: IUH/DEH/PF-*].