2-17-1 Diagram

2-17-1 The free-blocking zone is a rectangular area extending laterally 4 yards either side of the spot of the snap and 3 yards behind each line of scrimmage. A player is in the free-blocking zone when any part of his body is in the zone at the snap.

2-3-7, 2-17-1, 2-17-2, 9-3-2 The initial contact in PlayPic A is above the waist. In PlayPic B, the blocker then loses contact and the blocker starts a new block below the waist, this is a foul. A block below the waist is legal if it occurs in the free-blocking zone, provided both players were on their lines of scrimmage and within the zone at the time of the snap and the block is an immediate, initial action following the snap.

2-3-7, 2-17-1, 2-17-2, 9-3-2 While in the free-blocking zone, the initial contact in PlayPic A is with the hands below the waist. When the blocker finishes the block below the waist as in PlayPic B, it is not a foul. A block below the waist is legal if it occurs in the free-blocking zone, provided both players were on their lines of scrimmage and within the zone at the time of the snap and the block is an immediate, initial action following the snap.

2-17-1, 2-17-2, 2-17-4 It is legal for offensive linemen to block below the waist in the free-blocking zone, provided both players were on their lines of scrimmage and within the zone at the time of the snap and the block is an immediate, initial action following the snap. No. 77 could only block No. 62 below the waist if the block was immediate, initial action following the snap. No. 65 can block No. 93 below the waist even though No. 93 is playing off his shoulder, if the block is an immediate, initial action following the snap. No. 72 could not block No. 55 below the waist at any time during this play.

2-17-1 In MechaniGram A, because A6 did not immediately begin his block on the snap, he may not block below the waist. In MechaniGram B, the initial thrust is simultaneous with the snap. That is a legal block.

2-17-1 In MechaniGram A, A3 takes a backward pass on a toss sweep with A10 the lead blocker. In MechaniGram B, defender B4 blocks A10 below the waist to free up other defenders. That is a foul.

2-17-1 In MechaniGram A, Team A is in shotgun formation. In Mechanigram B, back A3, who was outside the free-blocking zone, is outside the free-blocking zone when he blocks B1 below the waist. That is a foul.

2-17-1 In MechaniGram A, Team A is in shotgun formation. In MechaniGram B, back A3, who was outside the free-blocking zone, is outside the free-blocking zone when he blocks B5, who is also outside the zone, below the waist. That is a foul.

2-17-1 In MechaniGram A, lineman A4 was inside the free-blocking zone at the snap. In MechaniGram B, Blitzing linebacker B5 was not in the free-blocking zone at the snap and was not a lineman. When A4 blocks B5 below the waist, that is a foul.

2-17-1, 9-3-6, 9-3-5 Penalty The exception that allowed clipping in the free blocking zone has been eliminated.

2-17-1, 9-3-6, 9-3-5 Penalty It is still legal to clip a player who is a runner or pretending to be a runner.

2-17-1, 9-3-6, 9-3-5 Penalty Clipping, blocking below the waist and blocking in the back are legal methods of bringing down a runner or a player pretending to be a runner.