NFL Rules 101: Player Conduct


Blocking, the art of opening the gates to the end zone, has its do’s and don’ts. Here’s when the ref will throw the flag on a block party:

  • Illegal Moves: Anything from holding to tripping over can earn a penalty. Key fouls include clipping, chop blocks, and the infamous illegal blindside block that can turn a player’s day upside down faster than a pancake on Sunday morning.Penalty: Lose 10 yards if you’re caught using your hands and arms in manners akin to a street fighter.
  • The Right Way: Use your head, shoulders, and arms, but keep it clean. No grabbing, no holding, just good old fashioned blocking.Remember: If you’re a runner, feel free to use your hands to brush off opponents like dandruff off a shoulder.

Illegal Blocks by Offensive Players

  • Hands Off: Thrusting your hands to push someone in the face is a no-go. That’s just rude, and also a 10-yard penalty.
  • Watch Your Back: No shoving someone in the back outside of a Black Friday sale. That’s a penalty each time.Rule of Thumb: If you open your arms wide and the defender runs into them, it’s his fault. Otherwise, keep those hands to yourself!



  • Low Blow: Clipping is like tripping someone up at the knees – it’s dangerous and frowned upon, unless it’s straight-up, above the knees, and in the fray.

“Peel Back” Block

  • Blindside Blues: Imagine reversing into a parking spot and accidentally hitting the car behind you. That’s the essence of an illegal peel back block.

Illegal Cut Block

  • Cutting Corners: Going low on someone who’s not expecting it? That’s a shortcut to Penaltyville.

Blocking Below the Waist

  • Keep It High: If the ball has changed possession, keep your blocks above the waist, or it’s 15 yards back the other way.

Chop Block

  • Double Trouble: Two players teaming up, one high, one low, on the same defender? That’s more than just poor sportsmanship—it’s downright dangerous.

Crackback Block

  • Sideline Sneak Attacks: If you’re coming from the side, especially from the bench side, keep those blocks above the waist, or you’ll be sitting next to the coach with a penalty to stew over.

Blindside Block

  • Look Before You Block: No hitting anyone from the side or back towards your own endline. That’s how chaos happens (and penalties).

Unnecessary Roughness

  • Play Nice: Football is tough, but there’s no room for cheap shots. Whether it’s a leg whip or a late hit, play with honor, not with anger.


Prohibited Acts

  • Keep It Clean: No trash talk, no taunting, and definitely no using props for celebrations. Save the drama for your mama, not the football field.Penalty: 15 yards. If you’re particularly naughty, it might even cost you the game.


  • Two Strikes, You’re Out: Two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in one game, and you’re watching the rest from the locker room.


Illegal Bat

  • No Batting Practice: Swatting the ball towards your goal line or batting it after it hits the ground is only legal in baseball. Here, it’s a penalty.

Illegally Kicking Ball

  • No Soccer Skills: Deliberately kicking a loose ball? Save it for the World Cup. That’s a penalty in football.


In the NFL, playing by the rules is just as important as the skill to play the game. So block like a pro, tackle with care, and celebrate with class. After all, it’s a game, and games are meant to be fun—within the rulebook’s pages.

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