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Block in the Back Penalty in Football

What is a Block in the Back Penalty?

The block in the back penalty is called when a player illegally blocks a player from behind and above the waist. If the block is below the waist another penalty would apply. Of course this penalty will only be called when the block in the back takes place against a player that is not carrying the ball.

Number of Yards

There is a 10 yard penalty in both the NFL and College Football. This is a very common penalty on punt and kick-off returns.

The Signal

When signaling the Block in the Back penalty the referee will extend one arm completely out with the palm facing forward as if they were pushing someone. They will then wrap the other hand around the wrist of the extended arm.