Notifications
Clear all

Blindside Blocks

Page 1 / 2

gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
Platinum
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 4296
Topic starter  

Soapbox time.

Rule 9-4-3n of the NFHS rules, in regards to a blindside block: “a block against an opponent other than the runner, who does not see the blocker approaching,”

Further:  “involves contact by a blocker against an opponent who, because of physical positioning and focus of concentration, is vulnerable to injury. Unless initiated with open hands, it is a foul for excessive and unnecessary contact when the block is forceful and outside of the free-blocking zone.” 15 yard penalty from the spot of the infraction.

Back in 1983, I was playing 8th grade football in Ohio. I was a TB and my QB was on a long TD run. I was following and noticed a pursuing defender. We were both running full speed, about 20 yards behind the ball carrier and he had no idea I was there. I hit him pretty hard, shoulder to shoulder and he did about 5 cartwheels. It reminded me of "agony of defeat" from Wild World of Sports. His coach had to come out and get him. I was pretty hyped up and went to the sideline to collect attaboys. My coach, John Hildebrandt was disgusted. He called me a dirty coward and said that there was no place for that kind of dirty player on his team. He further said that a "real man" looks a guy in the eye when he hits him. I really took that to heart and I've always coached not to hit someone if they don't see it coming. There's just no honor in it. So when I started coaching, I passed that on to my players.

About 3 years ago, 6th grade Fall, I was coaching with Mahonz for the first time. We had several long TD runs called back for blindside hits. Finally, a white hat explained to Mahonz that blindside hits away from the play were now a point of emphasis. Our response was the "Poison" call, which told everyone not running a TD to come to the sideline and get a drink. 8 seasons (including Spring) later, we've had maybe 2 penalties for blindside hits.

Last Fall, we took one with the 2nd graders. Our RB reversed field and our backside tackle caught a pursuer shoulder to shoulder on what I thought was a questionable hit. The side judge who threw the flag took the time to explain the new rule, 9-4-3n and that the blocker must lead with the hands and only use enough force to prevent the block if the opponent doesn't see it coming. Out of all the new safety rules, I'm actually a big fan of this one.

Unfortunately, the word is not getting out on this rule. Last season, while scouting a 2nd grade game, I had the field monitor call the Sheriff's department on a dad who was livid about a TD getting called back for a blindside hit. We continue to see it all the time and based on the reactions of coaches and fans, I'm not sure people even know it's a rule.
"HIT HIM AGAIN!!!"
"IT'S FOOTBALL!"
"THAT'S JUST PHYSICAL PLAY!"
"MIGHT AS WELL PUT SKIRTS AND FLAGS ON THEM!"
etc. etc. etc.

This Spring was the absolute worst. Our last opponent had 2 TDs come back in a championship game due to blindside hits. A powerhouse team, our week 1 opponent lost their two games on blindside hits. They would routinely take 7 or 8 of these penalties per game and that is in no way an exaggeration. Even the shitty teams have gotten in on the act. For the first time ever, I've seen defenders take out opponents rather than tackling the ball carrier, and I saw this at least 6 times this Spring, with a few taking advantage of our "poison" call, which we ended up revising.

I am the biggest proponent of physical play that you will find. In fact, I believe we win games simply by out-hitting our opponents. However, I will never understand the mentality behind ending a kid's game, season or even career simply because he wasn't paying attention, or was too focused on doing his job to avoid a cheap shot. If that's an accepted part of the game, I'm pretty sure I don't want to coach it or watch it on TV anymore.

So if you're already teaching your players to lay off the blindside stuff, Thank you. Please help spread the word, if that's even possible. If you're a lurker, or a new coach, please read the rules, especially the changes from year to year as well as the points of emphasis. If you think there's nothing wrong with this, please take some time to re-evaluate your motivations and priorities.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


Quote
Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
Diamond
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 9565
 

Back in 1983, I was playing 8th grade football in Ohio. I was a TB and my QB was on a long TD run. I was following and noticed a pursuing defender. We were both running full speed, about 20 yards behind the ball carrier and he had no idea I was there. I hit him pretty hard, shoulder to shoulder and he did about 5 cartwheels. It reminded me of "agony of defeat" from Wild World of Sports. His coach had to come out and get him. I was pretty hyped up and went to the sideline to collect attaboys. My coach, John Hildebrandt was disgusted. He called me a dirty coward and said that there was no place for that kind of dirty player on his team. He further said that a "real man" looks a guy in the eye when he hits him.

Could you have looked each other in the eye?  From your description, that doesn't seem it would've been geometrically possible.

Could you even have made the block legal by today's rules?  If you're shoulder to shoulder, I don't see how that's feasible.  You could possibly give a weak 1-hand shove with the near arm, but that's all I can imagine.

The irony is that in some sports that forbid most forms of contact, a shoulder-to-shoulder charge is legal -- notably soccer.  How can it be that that sort of thing is considered safe enough that it's the only type of blocking legal, yet it's too dangerous for American football, where it's only one among many types of possible hits that are perfectly legal?


ReplyQuote
gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
Platinum
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 4296
Topic starter  

We were 20 yards behind the ball carrier. I could have gotten in front of him and ran interference, I could have just nudged him off his path, or I could have left him the hell alone. Instead, I shit-whipped him. My coaches point is that if you’re going to truck someone, do it while they’re looking or don’t do it at all.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


ReplyQuote
JustPlay
(@rjbthor)
Silver
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 559
 

With this sort of issue we teach 2 things. Scream at the defender and hand strikes only. My ref buddy tells me they have been trained error on the side of caution with the "unaware player" block . If they see hands striking vs helmets they will not call it. Also in our league crack backs are not allowed. We had a call last week go against us on a sweep play where the corner tried to make the tackle on the back only to have the back stop and cut up as our guard came out for the kick out block - Legal block - hand strike  - shove - Corner went several yards as his energy was redirected. Flag was for UN-necessary roughness. 

nothing replaces effort. nothing replaces the mind. One with out the other is a waste of time.


ReplyQuote
ZACH
 ZACH
(@bucksweep58)
Diamond
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 9444
 

I called 3 of these "crack back/ blindside hit/peelback" in conjunction with "defensless player" penalties last week.

Its dangerous , esp if it has nothin to do with with the immediate play or involves direct helmet shot.

Your hitting a player unknowing of whats happening and cant defend themselves.

However this cant be literal, someone being hit by and onlineman and doesnt seet it happen is not a penalty.  Its more pertinent in reverse field action,  kick offs, punts, where players are not looking downfield but in the air.

I can explain it to you, I can't understand if for you.


ReplyQuote
gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
Platinum
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 4296
Topic starter  

I called 3 of these "crack back/ blindside hit/peelback" in conjunction with "defensless player" penalties last week.

Its dangerous , esp if it has nothin to do with with the immediate play or involves direct helmet shot.

Your hitting a player unknowing of whats happening and cant defend themselves.

However this cant be literal, someone being hit by and onlineman and doesnt seet it happen is not a penalty.  Its more pertinent in reverse field action,  kick offs, punts, where players are not looking downfield but in the air.

Thanks so much for all of this Zach. I'm sick of this type of play and it has no place in the game.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


ReplyQuote
acsmith7062
(@acsmith7062)
Copper
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 75
 

The NCAA clarified the definition of an "Illegal Blindside Block" this year:

https://www.sportingnews.com/us/ncaa-football/news/ncaa-releases-video-explaining-new-blindside-block-rule/1qvb8ofplg6zj1gpf5wqeeh5sb

We play by NCAA rules and really hope our refs make it a point of emphasis to enforce the rule this year.  Way too much of this type of play goes on, especially on kickoff and interception returns in our league.

Chad

"You fail all the time, but you aren't a failure until you start blaming someone else."   O.A. "Bum" Phillips


ReplyQuote
SingleWingGoombah
(@singlewinggoombah)
Gold
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 2070
 

I got pretty heated this past weekend over a non-call for a peelback block.  Blocker was coming back towards his own end zone.  Did not engage with hands, was a pure shoulder block, and hit someone who was fully concentrated on chasing the ball carrier.  I was livid.  The ref said he could have seen him so its not a penalty.  The refs do not know these rules.  I don't know every rules, but damn sure I know these types of rules that are directly related to player safety.


ReplyQuote
CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 17678
 

Rule 9-4-3n of the NFHS rules, in regards to a blindside block: “a block against an opponent other than the runner, who does not see the blocker approaching,”

--Gotta shake my head about their rule book phrasing:  "a block against an opponent other than the runner..."  "Other than the runner?"  Who in the world would block the runner?

Further:  “involves contact by a blocker against an opponent who, because of physical positioning and focus of concentration, is vulnerable to injury. Unless initiated with open hands, it is a foul for excessive and unnecessary contact when the block is forceful and outside of the free-blocking zone.”

--Funny, because most refs don't even acknowledge that a FBZ still exists.

He further said that a "real man" looks a guy in the eye when he hits him. I really took that to heart and I've always coached not to hit someone if they don't see it coming. There's just no honor in it. So when I started coaching, I passed that on to my players.

--I hadn't heard it expressed that way before.  But I still see these penalties called, so I will pass that phrase to my kids, too.

We continue to see it all the time and based on the reactions of coaches and fans, I'm not sure people even know it's a rule.

--If they don't know, then educate your parents at the Parents Meeting, emails, texts, etc.

So if you're already teaching your players to lay off the blindside stuff, Thank you. Please help spread the word, if that's even possible.

--At practice, we'd taken to taking a knee on an interception or scoop & score.  We'd "freeze" on the turnover, and assess whether each player was behind or ahead of the defender now with the ball.  Those who were now behind him would take a knee.  Those who were in front would point at opponents they were in front of and could block cleanly.  We don't do that in a game, but just just practicing it that way gave us enough awareness not to get called for it.

--Very good points, Lar.  Want the game to succeed?  Make it safer.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


ReplyQuote
Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
Diamond
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 9565
 

I got pretty heated this past weekend over a non-call for a peelback block.  Blocker was coming back towards his own end zone.  Did not engage with hands, was a pure shoulder block, and hit someone who was fully concentrated on chasing the ball carrier.  I was livid.  The ref said he could have seen him so its not a penalty.  The refs do not know these rules.  I don't know every rules, but damn sure I know these types of rules that are directly related to player safety.D

I have trouble imagining a peelback block as a blindside one.  Did the blocker come at such an angle that he wasn't in what should have been the field of view of the opponent until the last instant?


ReplyQuote
Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
Diamond
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 9565
 

Gotta shake my head about their rule book phrasing:  "a block against an opponent other than the runner..."  "Other than the runner?"  Who in the world would block the runner?

Maybe you haven't seen some of the non-wrap tackle attempts by players like I've coached.  :'(


ReplyQuote
gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
Platinum
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 4296
Topic starter  

--At practice, we'd taken to taking a knee on an interception or scoop & score.  We'd "freeze" on the turnover, and assess whether each player was behind or ahead of the defender now with the ball.  Those who were now behind him would take a knee.  Those who were in front would point at opponents they were in front of and could block cleanly.  We don't do that in a game, but just just practicing it that way gave us enough awareness not to get called for it.

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Last Spring, we were shellacking a team. At one point, we had a long breakaway run. It had become our practice to yell "POISON!" to avoid blocks in the back, blindside hits, unnecessary roughness, etc. A few seasons ago, we'd had something like 4 TDs called back for unnecessary blocks behind the play, so we said "Screw it. 'Poison' means come to the sideline and get a drink of water. Fast forward to last Spring and our long run. We yell "POISON!" and one of our players turns 90 degrees and starts jogging off the field as we cross the goal line. Our RB was running South. A "defender" came from the North in the opposite direction of the RB and launched himself head first at our player who was jogging off.  So no more poison.

The biggest threat to our sport isn't CTE. It's the complete lack of respect that is being taught and/or tolerated by coaches.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


ReplyQuote
jrk5150
(@jrk5150)
Diamond
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 6431
 

I have a block from HS I'll always remember.  The guy I hit always said I was dirty because of it.  Of course, stealing his girlfriend might have had something to do with that, but that's another story.

QB was running a bootleg, I was the TE releasing into the flat.  I was on the goal-line, QB tucked and ran, LB came flat down the line right into me.  He was looking at the QB, not me, but I was right in his way.  IMO, not a blind-side block, I even hit him in the numbers.  He came to me.  I absolutely lit him up - saw the bottom of his feet.

Now - legal or no?


ReplyQuote
Coach E
(@coache)
Gold
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 1108
 

The biggest threat to our sport isn't CTE. It's the complete lack of respect that is being taught and/or tolerated by coaches.

I got blackballed from our org for stating something similar. I think I said something along the lines of "...the biggest safety concern is shitty coaching..." and referenced "drills" like lining up 15 yards apart and running into each other. Just about everyone in the room took it personally. I was talking about me as well and the complete lack of decent training before taking on the role of coach to a bunch of 7 and 8 year olds.

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.- Marcus Aurelius


ReplyQuote
SingleWingGoombah
(@singlewinggoombah)
Gold
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 2070
 

I have trouble imagining a peelback block as a blindside one.  Did the blocker come at such an angle that he wasn't in what should have been the field of view of the opponent until the last instant?

He could have seen him if he was looking at him.


ReplyQuote
Page 1 / 2
Share: