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Running head: NFL HARD HITS

NFL Hard Hits

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NFL Hard Hits

Game action in American football consists of the series of short individual bouts, beyond which the ball is considered as the dead or not in the game. During the fight there can be drawn the following actions:

- pass combinations;

- outrigger combinations;

- pant combinations (the kick over the ball);

- the attempt to take the scoring area;

- the free kick combination (putting the ball into play, i.e. the forward kick).

The replacement of players is carried between the downs. It allows the coach to pick the best team for each specific situation. During the game, a team should have 11 players on the field. Each player is assigned with a specific task for each draw.

The goal of the match implies the achievement of as many points as possible for putting the ball in the end zone of the opponent, i.e. touchdown, or scoring it into the field goals. The team with the highest score wins.

American football is considered to be an extremely hard sport with the abundance of power struggle. Nevertheless, it does have certain limitations. The rules prohibit some general or certain game situations, such as pushing back, grips, footboard, tackles from behind (on the side), etc. The violation of rules brings the team the loss of the yards, i.e. the ball is moved to a certain distance towards its end zone.

The more serious the illegal action is, the greater the distance is considered to be. For example, a false start or offside are worth of 5 yards, and such violation as grasping the opponents mask is worth of 15 yards. In case of grazing disturbance, i.e. the deliberate contact with the receiver before he caught the ball, the hitter gets the ball at the point of violation. The player who committed a particular roughness is removed from the field.

The list of possible violations in American football includes the excessive noise generated by the public. If the referee decides that fans overreact in expression of their emotions, the home team may be penalized for 5 yards or debarred to put one of the timeouts.

The following table provides the description of violations committed as well as penalties to be imposed in order to avoid any injuries.

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Violation

Description

Penalty Yardage

NFL

NCAA

Block in the back

The blocker touches the back above or behind the waist of the opponent without the ball.

10

10

Block below the waist

Illegal block from any side below the waist, made by any player.

15

15

Chop block

An offensive player who is trying to block the defensive player that is already blocked by another players attacks. The second block may be below the thigh or knee.

15

15

Clipping

The blocker touches the opponent without the ball from behind and at or below the waist.

15

15

Delay of game

Any action which delays the next play.

5

5

Encroachment

Crossing the line of scrimmage, regardless the contact with the opponent player.

5

5

Equipment violations

The player is on the field without the necessary protective equipment.

Face mask

Gripping the masks of the opponent in an attempt to capture or block him.

15

15

False start

The attacking player illegally moves after the players lined up for the drawing, but before the snap.

5

5

Holding

Forbidden grasping or pulling an opponent without the ball, while trying to break a block or cover the receiver.

10

10

Horse-collar tackle

Forbidden tackling for the players shoulder pads or jersey, which leads to his downfall.

15

15

Illegal contact

Serious contact with the receiver, after he has advanced at least 5 yards from the line of scrimmage.

5

Illegal formation

Seven or less people on the line of scrimmage (NFL); more than four people in the backfield (NCAA).

5

5

Illegal forward pass

Pass forward made after the ball crossed the line, as there was a change of possession, or if it is the second pass forward on one play.

5

5

Illegal hands to the face

Push or hitting the player in the head or helmet.

10

10

Illegal motion

The player in motion moves forward during the snap.

5

5

Illegal participation

12 or more players are involved in the drawing, if the excess was not noticed before the snap or the players entered after the beginning of the game.

15

Illegal shift

The player is not in motion, but has not recorded his position before the snap.

5

5

Substitution infraction/Illegal Substitution/Too many men on the field

12 or more players were in the huddle over 3-5 seconds.

5

5

Illegal touching

Illegal touching.

5

5

Illegal touching of a forward pass

The ineligible receiver (lineman) is first touched by the forward pass.

5

5

Illegal touching of a free kick

During a free kick the ball touches first the player of the kicking team, before passing 10 yards.

5

5

Illegal use of hands

The use of hands against a player on offense while trying to get rid of the block, cover or grab a player receiving the ball.

10

10

Ineligible receiver downfield

The ineligible receiver crossed the line of scrimmage before the forward pass.

5

5

Intentional grounding

Pass forward is deliberately made in such a way so that the passer avoids the loss of yardage to save time.

10

Leaping

Defender runs forward and jump trying to block the field goal, and then lands on a player from the either team.

15

15

Neutral zone infraction

A defensive player jumps into the neutral zone before the snap, thereby provoking an attack on a player causing him to false start.

5

5

Offside

The player is not on his side of the line during the snap.

5

5

Palpably unfair act

Any illegal act that prevent the team to score points.

Pass interference

Physical contact with a receiver of a pass, in order to prevent him to catch the ball.

10

15

Personal foul

Any violation related to the behavior and safety.

15

15

Roughing the kicker

The attempts to block of run into the kicker that may cause harm to his health.

15

15

Roughing the passer

The attempts to block or hit the passer after he threw the ball that may cause harm to his health.

15

15

Roughing the snapper

The attempts to block the snapper that may cause harm to his health.

15

15

Spearing

Stroke or any contacting the opponent with the helmet. It can lead to serious injury of the tacklers neck.

5

5

Tripping

The player trips another player up.

15

15

Unsportsmanlike conduct

Any person acting or speaking intentionally harmful, but without any physical contact involved.

15

15

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