2-5-1 Clipping is a block against an opponent when the initial contact is from behind, at or below the waist, and not against a player who is a runner or pretending to be a runner.
2-5-2 Blocking in the back is a block against an opponent when the initial contact is in the opponent's back, inside the shoulders and below the helmet and above the waist, and not against a player who is a runner or pretending to be a runner.
2-5-3 Clipping and/or blocking in the back shall not be called unless the official sees the initial contact. When in doubt, the contact is legal and not from the back. When the contact is ruled to be from the back, and the official has question as to the initial point of contact, it shall be ruled clipping.
2-17-3 Clipping and blocking in the back are permitted in the free-blocking zone when the following conditions are met: a. by offensive linemen who are in the zone at the snap; b. against defensive players who are in the zone at the snap; and c. the contact is in the zone.
2-17-4 The free-blocking zone disintegrates and the exception for a player to block below the waist and/or the exception for an offensive lineman to clip and/or block in the back is not to continue after the ball has left the zone.
2-17-4 Fouls committed by the defense on any successful try will now be consistently penalized. Thus, removing an exception that permitted a free foul by the defense.
8-3-5,6 Fouls committed by the defense on any successful try will now be consistently penalized. Thus removing an exception that permitted a free foul by the defense.
8-5-2a Exception Fumbles and backward passes have been added to the exception. This change treats all in-flight, loose ball situations covered by this rule, the same.
9-3-5 Added language to include a block in the back under Illegal Blocking.
9-3-5 Penalty The penalty from an illegal block in the back has been added. Also added were the penalties and rules references for the existing infractions.
Penalty Chart Added Illegal Block in the Back.
Points of Emphasis
Time Management by Home Management, Officials and Coaches
Late Hits and Illegal Contact
Fluid Replacement and Humidity
Altered Mouth Guards and Other Illegal Equipment