Football: New rules on blindside blocking are approved

The National Federation of State High School Associations Football Rules Committee has approved new blindside blocking rules to further minimize risks associated with the sport.

The definition of a blindside block established by the committee is “a block against an opponent other than the runner, who does not see the blocker approaching,” and will result in a 15-yard penalty.

The rules committee expanded the rule regarding a defenseless player with specific examples.

A player in the act of or just after throwing a pass.


A receiver attempting to catch a pass who has not had time to clearly become a runner.

The intended receiver of a pass in action during and immediately following an interception or potential interception.

A runner already in the grasp of a tackler and whose forward progress has been stopped.

A kickoff or punt returner attempting to catch or recover a kick, or one who has completed a catch or recovery and has not had time to protect himself or has not clearly become a ball carrier.

A player on the ground, including a ball carrier, who has obviously given himself up and is sliding feet first.

A player obviously out of the play or not in the immediate vicinity of the runner.

A player who received a blindside block with forceful contact not initiated with open hands.

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