College: 9-3-4

SECTION 3. Blocking, Use of Hands or Arms

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:

1. When attempting to reach the runner.

2. Who are obviously attempting to block them.

b. A defensive player legally may use their hands or arms to ward off or block an opponent in an attempt to reach a loose ball (Rule 9-1-5 Exception 3 and 9-1-5 Exception 4 and Rule 9-3-5 Exception 3 and 9-3-5 Exception 5):

1. During a backward pass, fumble or kick that they are eligible to touch.

2. 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 runner, defensive players must comply with Article 3, paragraphs a and b above.

d. Defensive players may not use hands and arms to tackle, hold or otherwise illegally obstruct an opponent other than a runner.

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.

Approved Ruling 9-3-4 I. Before a legal forward pass that crosses the neutral zone is thrown, Team B holds eligible A1, who is beyond the neutral zone. RULING: Team B foul, holding. Penalty—10 yards and automatic first down, previous-spot enforcement.

Approved Ruling 9-3-4 II. 3/15 @ B-45. QB A12 drops back and looks downfield for A88 who is the primary receiver and defender B21 is holding A88 at the B-35. A12 throws a forward pass to his checkdown receiver A44 but the ball falls incomplete at the B-46. RULING: A, 1/10, B-35, Snap. The penalty for B21’s holding foul is enforced 10 yards from the previous spot and an automatic 1st down. Holding by defense carries an automatic first down.

Approved Ruling 9-3-4 III 4/12 @ A-35. Team A lines up in scrimmage kick formation and intends to punt. Immediately after the snap, B55 grabs RT A77 and pulls him to the side and B21 shoots the gap in an attempt to block the punt. The punter gets the punt away and the ball is downed at the B-35. RULING: Holding by B55. This foul occurred before the kick and the penalty is not governed by Post Scrimmage Kick Enforcement. The 10-yard penalty will be enforced from the previous spot and includes an automatic first down. Team A will have 1/10 @ A-45.

Approved Ruling 9-3-4 IV. 4/12 @ A-35. Team A lines up in scrimmage kick formation with gunner A88 flanked out to the right side of the formation. After the snap, B21 jams gunner A88 and then holds him as A88 tries to work free down the field during the kick. The punt is downed at the B-35. RULING: Holding by B21. The penalty for this foul is governed by Post Scrimmage Kick Enforcement and the Post Scrimmage kick spot serves as the basic spot for enforcement. The 10-yard penalty will be enforced from the end of the kick. Team B will have 1/10 @ B-25.

PENALTY [c-e]—10 yards plus automatic first down if the first down is not in conflict with other rules [S42].