(Covering cases not specifically covered previously)  


Article 1 - Holding  

Holding is defined as the use of the hands and /or arms to grasp or encircle an opponent, except when a player tackles the ball carrier, and is illegal at all times. 

Penalty:  Team A     1.2D – L10 DR, 3D DG – L10 DR, 3D DNG – LB PBD. 
Team B     DG – L10 PBH, DNG – L10 PLS.

NOTE:    The use of hands and arms is permitted: 

(a)       By the ball carrier to ward off an opponent.
By a blocker, as outlined in Rule 4, Section 5, Article 1(e) .
(c)       By a defender to reach the ball carrier, but the hands may not be used to grasp any opponent except the ball carrier.
(d)      By a player of the kicking team to ward off a blocker preventing his approach to the ball carrier after a kick or kick

Article 2 – Blocking from the Rear  

Blocking from the rear is blocking an opponent, other that the ball carrier, from the rear by charging into the opponent’s back with the body, or throwing the body across the back of his legs.  The application of penalty is determined by the point of initial contact, and the official who rules on the play must see the play in its entirety. It is illegal except as follows: 

(1)         it occurs in the Close Line Play area (between offensive tackles within 2 yards on either side of the Line of
         Scrimmage) and it is made by a player who was positioned in this area when the ball was snapped. OR
(2)         the initial point of contact is on the side or front of the opponent. OR
(3)          the initial point of contact is from the rear, due to the action of the opponent, such as turning his back on the blocker
         after the blocker has committed himself to the block. 

NOTE 1. The position of the head of the blocker in front of, or behind, the opponent does not determine whether the block is
                legal or not.  The point of contact is the determining factor, modified by (1) (2) (3) of this article. 

Penalty:  Team A – 1.2D – L15 DR, 3D DG – L15 DR, 3D DNG – LB PBD.
Team B – DG – L15 PBH, DNG – L15 PLS.

Article 3 – Illegal Block

Blocking an opponent by pushing him from the rear with extended arms or bumping him above the waist from behind is illegal, and is defined as illegal use of hands. 

Penalty:  Team A – 1.2D – L10 DR, 3D DG – L10 DR, 3D DNG – LB PBD
Team B – DG – 10 PBH, DNG – L10 PLS.

Article 4 – Tripping  

Tripping is the intentional use of the lower leg or foot to obstruct any opponent below the knee. 

Penalty: Team A – 1.2D – L10 DR, 3D DG – L10 DR, 3D DNG – LB PBD.
Team B – DG – L10 PBH, DNG L10 PLS.

Article 5 – Contacting the Kicker  

Contacting the kicker, while he is in the act of kicking, is illegal, unless the contact is slight and incidental, subject to the following: 

(a)               The act of kicking begins when the kicking foot leaves the ground, and ends when the foot returns to the ground (or a player lying on the ground) after kicking or attempting to kick the ball. Should the kicker momentarily fumble the ball, he shall be given this protection, provided he stays in his normal kicking spot.  If he leaves this spot, or makes any motion to pass the ball, he shall be considered as a ball carrier, under this rule and under Rule 5 – 5 –1-b. 

(b)                This article does not apply to a “quick kick” or “return" kick. 

(c)                A “B” player shall not be penalized if he blocks or touches the ball prior to contacting the kicker, or if contact by a Team A blocker causes him to contact the kicker, or if a B player contacts an A player in such a way as to drive him into the kicker. 

Penalty:  L10 PLS.  


The following acts are defined and classified as Rough Play, and are illegal: 

Article 1 – Kicker, Passer, Receiver  

The deliberate charging of a kicker, passer, or receiver of a kick or pass in such a way as to cause calculated injury. 

Article 2 – Striking, Kicking or Kneeing  

The striking of an opponent with the fist, heel of the hand, knee or elbow, or kicking an opponent. 

Article 3 – Butt Blocking, Butt Tackling or Spearing  

Butt blocking, butt tackling or spearing, if done deliberately in such a way as to cause calculated injury may be penalized under this section. 

Article 4 – Face Mask  

Grasping the facemask, as covered in Section 3, Article 5, may be penalized under this section, if in the opinion of the Referee it was a deliberate attempt to injure an opponent. 

Article 5 – Other Acts  

Any other act of roughness or unfair play considered by the Referee to warrant disqualification may be penalized under this section. 

Penalty:  Articles 1 to 5.  Disqualification of the offending player, and L25 from the appropriate point as covered
Rule 8, Section 5.  If the official is unable to identify the offender the distance penalty only shall be
                applied.  If both teams offend, the players involved shall be disqualified but no distance penalty shall
                be applied.  Play shall be resumed at the appropriate point as outlined in Dual Penalties,
                Rule 8 Section 6
  Automatic 1D to Team A for Team B Rough Play.

Article 6 – Disqualification  

A player shall be disqualified from further participation in the game, with substitution permitted, if: 

(a)       He has been called for Rough Play.
(b)       He has been called for physical abuse of an official. 

The disqualification penalty cannot be declined by the non-offending team. 


Any act of unnecessary roughness or unfair play that is not considered serious enough to disqualify, shall be penalized under this section.  The following acts are defined, and classified as Unnecessary Roughness, and are illegal. 

Article 1 – Piling On, Tackling Out of Bounds  

Piling On occurs when a player runs into, throws his body against, or falls upon a ball carrier, after the play has been terminated by the official’s whistle, or even before the whistle, where the ball is clearly dead (Rule 1, Section 8, Article 1h)  Tackling a player when he is clearly out of bounds, or throwing the ball carrier to the ground after the ball is dead, is illegal.  These fouls are considered to be committed after the ball is dead (Rule 8, Section 5. Article 11).  

Article 2 – Passer  

It is illegal to contact the passer immediately after he has passed the ball.  Exception – contact by a B player, who initiated an attempt to black the pass while the ball was still in the passer’s possession, and in the Referee’s opinion, the contact did not constitute unnecessary Roughness or Rough Play. 

Article 3 – Kicker  

Unnecessary roughness against a punter, or field goal kicker is illegal. 

Article 4 – Place Kick Holder  

The holder of a place kick for a field goal or convert attempt shall be given the same protection as a kicker. 

Article 5 – Face Mask  

It shall be illegal to grasp the facemask of an opponent, by closing the fingers on the facemask, regardless to what extent the face mask is pulled. 

Article 6 – Head Tackling, Clotheslining  

It shall be illegal to tackle around the head, in the open field, or straight-arm tackle to the head, commonly referred to as  “clotheslining”. 

Article 7 – Spearing  

Spearing is deliberate and malicious driving of the helmet into a player who is down, or is held so that he is going down, or whose forward progress has been stopped, or who is in a position unable to protect himself.  A player shall be called for Spearing even if he commits himself before the ball is dead, if he used the head and helmet as the primary or main point of force. 

Article 8 – Butt Block or Butt Tackle  

(a)       Butt Block – no player, including the ball carrier, shall deliberately use his helmet to but or ram an opponent. 

(b)       Butt Tackle – no player shall intentionally strike the runner with the crown or top of his helmet, or with the facemask. 

NOTE:    The facemask is considered to be part of the helmet, in the application of this rule. 

Article 9 – Use of Hands and Arms  

The illegal use of hands and arms shall be ruled as unnecessary roughness if contact is make with the fist, heel of the hand, or elbow, if the blocking arm is cocked by swinging back of the body line prior to contact, or if the blocking arm is driven upward and forward in such a manner commonly known as an “elbow smash”, or if the blocker turns his body at the waist or pivots in a manner to add force to the blow, or if contact is made with clasped hands, or if the opponent is struck above the shoulder with the hand or arm in an unnecessarily rough manner including the striking of the head, commonly called a “head slap”. 

Article 10 – Crack-Back Blocking  

It shall be illegal for any Team A player to block and opponent below the waist in an area from 5 yards ahead of the line of scrimmage, from sideline to sideline, extending back to the Team A dead line, if: 

         1. The A player is stationed, or in motion, 3 or more yards outside of the Close Line Play Area, at the snap of the
OR    2  The A player is stationed initially 3 or more yards outside of the Close Line Play Area and moves toward the ball
              so that he is less than 3 yards from the close line of play area at the snap of the ball. 
OR    3. The A player is stationed initially less that 3 yards from the Close Line Play Area, and either before or after the
              snap of the ball, moves more than 3 yards from the Close Line Play Area. 
AND 4. Moves in the direction of the ball to make the block.  (The direction of the ball is toward the position of the ball
              when it was snapped) 

Article 11 – Delayed Knee Blocking  

It shall be illegal for a player to block an opponent, at the knee, or below the knee, when the opponent is already in contact with a teammate of the blocker.  This “contact” should be fairly solid, not the type of contact being made as one player brushes past another.  To be illegal, the block should be delayed until the first contact is well established. 

Penalty for Unnecessary Roughness: 
    Team A        -  L15 from the appropriate spot, as per Rule 8, Section 5.
           Team B        -  L15 from the appropriate spot, and 1D to Team A.


(a)                The use of profane, obscene, insulting language or gestures to an opponent, official, or spectator by any player, or occupant of the team bench is prohibited. 

(b)               Unsportsmanlike conduct, such as throwing the ball at an opponent, an official, or occupant of the team bench is      prohibited. 

(c)               Tactics by players, which delay or hinder the smooth operation of the game shall be penalized under this section.  These tactics include spiking the ball, and/or deliberately throwing or kicking the ball away after it has been declared dead on a play. 

(d)               Running into, or contacting an official is to be avoided. 

Penalty: (1)  L10 from point where the ball would have been put into play if no other foul occurred, or added to
                     the  penalty for any other foul.   

               (2)    If an objectionable conduct penalty is called after the Referee has whistled time in for any down,
                     the penalty will be L10 PLS DR, and the distance chains will not be moved (unless a first down is
                     gained from a penalty against Team

If the foul is of a serious nature, the player or occupant of the bench may be disqualified with no distance penalty.  A disqualified player or occupant of the bench may be banished form the game site at any time at the discretion of the Referee. 

(e)                 Failure to wear mandatory equipment

Penalty: (1) L5 form the point where the ball would have been put in play if no other foul occurred, or added to
        the penalty for any other foul.
   (2) Removal of the player until the proper equipment is worn, with immediate substitution, and no game