Football Rule of the Week 6-17-19 Targeting

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    Football Rule of the Week 6-17-19 Targeting

    Since your local associations are starting to meet thought it would be a good time to get back to rules discussion on here. Since targeting is one of the hardest calls to make and probably the most unpopular one I thought we could start the summer discussing it. For my own opinion I believe the NFHS rule is written a lot better than the NCAA and NFL rule which is where most of the confusion on what is and isn't targeting is generated.

    Rule 2-20-2
    "Targeting is an act by any player who takes aim and initiates contact against an opponent above the shoulders with the helmet, forearm, hand, fist, elbow or shoulders"

    9-4-3
    "No player shall: (subsection m) target an opponent.

    -9-4 Penalty Summary
    9-4-3-m targeting an opponent (signal38-24) 15 yards.
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    El Diablo's Avatar
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    I noticed the words defense and offense are not in there.

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    Ball carrier is wrapped up and leaning forward lowering their shoulders/head. Defender comes in to tackle and end up wrapping high around the shoulders causing contact to the head area or misses and makes contact with the head area. That’s a flag?

    We’ve all seen it where guys are flying in to stop a ball carrier and end up high. I’m wondering how often that is going to be a flag?

    I have no issue with the rule. I’m just trying to make sure players can be properly instructed to avoid penalties and injuries.

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Diablo View Post
    I noticed the words defense and offense are not in there.
    I’ve seen the flag thrown on ball carriers for lowering their shoulders and making contact with the head of a tackler.

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    I believe the key for an offense player is to not intimate contact, lowering your helmet is not a foul alone if you don’t intentionally initiate contact with the helmet I wouldn’t call it.

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    One of the key things in my mind on targeting is head up or head down. I think it is very, very difficult to be called for targeting with your head up. Conversely, come flying in and lower your head, it looks like targeting whether it is or not.

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    El Diablo's Avatar
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    So a ball carrier stiff arm to the helmet of a tackler is targeting?

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Diablo View Post
    So a ball carrier stiff arm to the helmet of a tackler is targeting?
    By rule it should be, yes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Diablo View Post
    So a ball carrier stiff arm to the helmet of a tackler is targeting?
    Yes, rule 2-3-3 and 2-3-4 reads as follows:

    3 The blocker’s hand(s) may not be locked nor may he swing, throw or flip the elbow or forearm so that it is moving faster than the blocker’s shoulders at the time the elbow, forearm or shoulder contacts the opponent. The blocker may not initiate contact with his arm or hand against an opponent above the opponent’s shoulder, but he may use his hand or arm to break a fall or maintain his balance.

    ART. 4 ... An offensive player may also use his hands or arms:

    a. When he is a runner, to ward off or push any player.

    b. During a kick, to ward off an opponent who is attempting to block him.

    c. To push, pull or ward off an opponent when the ball is loose if he may legally touch or possess the ball if such contact is not pass interference, a personal foul or illegal use of hands.

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    2-3-1 also defines blocking, a stiff arm is a block it is just a block by a runner.

    The blocker’s hand(s) may not be locked nor may he swing, throw or flip the elbow or forearm so that it is moving faster than the blocker’s shoulders at the time the elbow, forearm or shoulder contacts the opponent. The blocker may not initiate contact with his arm or hand against an opponent above the opponent’s shoulder, but he may use his hand or arm to break a fall or maintain his balance.


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    ART. 4 ... An offensive player may also use his hands or arms:

    a. When he is a runner, to ward off or push any player.

    b. During a kick, to ward off an opponent who is attempting to block him.

    c. To push, pull or ward off an opponent when the ball is loose if he may legally touch or possess the ball if such contact is not pass interference, a personal foul or illegal use of hands.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barrel View Post
    I’ve seen the flag thrown on ball carriers for lowering their shoulders and making contact with the head of a tackler.
    Agree this should be penalized; just never seen the flag fly this way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Diablo View Post
    So a ball carrier stiff arm to the helmet of a tackler is targeting?
    Wow!

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