Be the Referee: Clipping Clipped
August 25, 2016
MHSAA assistant director Mark Uyl opens a new year of “Be the Referee” by explaining the latest rules change affecting blocking in football.
Be The Referee is a series of short messages designed to help educate people on the rules of different sports, to help them better understand the art of officiating, and to recruit officials.
Below is this week's segment – Clipping in the Free Blocking Zone - Listen
Most of the recent rules changes in high school football have all dealt with increasing player safety. The most significant change for the 2016 season focuses on safety, especially for offensive and defensive linemen.
For many years, the free blocking zone (the area between the two offensive tackles) was an area where two types of blocks – blocks below the waste and clipping, that are illegal on other parts of the field – were legal if done by linemen initially at the start of a play. For this season, clipping is now an illegal block, even in the free blocking zone, while blocks below the waste continue to be legal from in front.