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Blocking Below the Waist Penalty in Football

What is a Blocking Below the Waist Penalty?

The Blocking Below the Waist penalty was put in place to protect the players from lower body/knee injuries. This penalty occurs, as the name insinuates, when a player illegally blocks another player below the waste. A Blocking Below the Waist penalty can be called on either the offense or defense.

Number of Yards

There is a 15 yard penalty in both the NFL and College Football. If the defense commits the penalty, the offense will also be awarded an automatic first down.

The Signal

When signaling the Blocking Below the Waist penalty the referee will drop both arms straight down and turn the palms of both hands upwards so that the fingers on each hand are pointing toward each other. The referee will then make a chopping motion toward their thigh.