Author Topic: Crackback block  (Read 1652 times)

Offline Badger1

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Crackback block
« on: October 27, 2017, 08:03:44 AM »
Just wanted to make sure I am correct on this rule.  Some officials claim that the new Blindside Block rule eliminates this type of block.  However, the 2017 Redding Study Guide references a Crackback Block (Page 106) as "may be legal or illegal block.  Although there is no formal definition, this term is used to describe a block by a wide receiver that blocks back toward the spot of the snap.  If the crackback is in front or side and above the waist, it is a legal block.  Crackback blocks are usually initiated by players who are outside the zone.  Accordingly, a crackback block below the waist is an illegal block.  Likewise, any crackback from behind is also illegal."

In most cases, the ball would already be out of the free blocking zone at the time of the contact so I would assume that if the blocker making a crackback block lead with open hands and extended arms that the block would be legal while not having them open and extended would make the block illegal as long as there was forcible contact and the individual being blocked goes to the ground? Your opinions, please.  Thanks.

Offline prab

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Re: Crackback block
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2017, 09:12:12 AM »
Your take on the situation seems reasonable.

Offline NVFOA_Ump

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Re: Crackback block
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2017, 09:16:56 AM »
From the NFHS 2017 Powerpoint presentation:

1.  A blindside block is a block against an opponent other than the runner, who does not see the blocker approaching.
2.  A blindside block is a block outside of the free-blocking zone against an opponent other than the runner who does not have a reasonable opportunity to see the blocker approaching. A blindside block with forceful contact initiated with open hands is legal, inside or outside of the free-blocking zone.

A judgment call to be sure but the 2 keys are an opponent who does not see the blocker approaching and forceful contact initiated with something other than open hands.  The focus is not "from the front" or "from the side", but the "blindside" nature of the two players paths.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2017, 09:35:46 AM by NVFOA_Ump »
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Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Crackback block
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2017, 11:40:23 AM »

I would assume that if the blocker making a crackback block lead with open hands and extended arms that the block would be legal while not having them open and extended would make the block illegal as long as there was forcible contact and the individual being blocked goes to the ground? Your opinions, please.  Thanks.

I would hope, and believe, the new emphasis on "Blindside Blocks" was intended to reduce, and eliminate an opportunity to apply excessive force, where unnecessary and dangerous, rather than invent new penalty opportunities.  Often trying to combine different rules, and emphasis, to apply to different situations serves only to create confusion.

Correctly stated, "Crackback blocks are usually initiated by players who are outside the zone.  Accordingly, a crackback block below the waist is an illegal block.  Likewise, any crackback from behind is also illegal.", and although may at times meet the intended definition of a "blindside block", were NOT the intended target of the rule correction (as other than normally being directed towards the front of an opponent, would already as stated, be illegal).

The "Blindside" POE strongly suggested the remedy to EXCESSIVE "Blindside" blocks will be found through coaching (use of extended arms) to reduce the force of contact.  However that does not excuse the use of EXCESSIVE force delivered through extended arm contact, or automatically prohibit other legal forms of blocking that are NOT judged to be excessive, or unnecessary.

A basic principle of officiating, related to observing contact, is to see the entire process; from lead-up, to contact, through follow-up, which should still apply to both "Blindside as well as "Crack-back" blocks.  Since no two blocks have EVER been exactly the same, it's unlikely a cookie-cutter approach will ALWAYS apply.

Practical, no-rule sanctioned definitions often (but not ALWAYS) paint clearer pictures, and what seems to be a general objective is the removal of "Cheap-Shots" from the game, a practical term under which both illegal Blindside and Crack-back blocks might reside. 

Hopefully, as legal experts have suggested "pornography" is "difficult to define, but easy to recognize", the same applies to officials assessing "Cheap-Shots".     

Offline prosec34

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Re: Crackback block
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2017, 12:48:57 PM »
One misunderstanding of the new blindside rule is officials who flag blocks when the shoulders are used but lack the "force" element of the rule. To me, the rule intends to rid the game of the de-cleating licks of the past. If the shoulder is used blindside and merely screens the defender away from a tackle, I don't believe the rule applies.

Offline Rulesman

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Re: Crackback block
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2017, 07:40:05 PM »
If the shoulder is used blindside and merely screens the defender away from a tackle, I don't believe the rule applies.
The definition of a blindside block can be found in 2-3-10: “ A blindside block is a block against an opponent other than the runner, who does not see the blocker approaching.”

As AlUpstateNY stated you’ve got to see the whole play. A cookie-cutter approach as you seemingly suggest is taking you down a slippery slope. We don’t always agree with him but I believe his take on this issue is spot-on.
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Offline bawags06

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Re: Crackback block
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2017, 08:15:21 AM »
In our area, we've shot ourselves in the foot a little with the calls and communication as they pertain to blindside blocks. Perhaps you've all experienced this to a degree as well.

The problem comes in when we announce (or communicate to the sideline) that we have a penalty for a "blindside block" which creates the assumption/inference that all blindside blocks are illegal. Clearly, they are not by rule, but not all of our officials are including the word "illegal" along with the foul. I think this might be one that we are fighting for a couple more years, especially at the youth levels.

I didn't get a copy of this year's Reddings (shame on me, perhaps), but I've understood a "crackback" to be a descriptor of the player's approach, not necessarily whether the hit was legal or not.

Offline VA Official

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Re: Crackback block
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2017, 11:13:11 AM »
I didn't get a copy of this year's Reddings (shame on me, perhaps), but I've understood a "crackback" to be a descriptor of the player's approach, not necessarily whether the hit was legal or not.

You are correct. The "definition" provided by Redding's is in the first post. A crackback block with open hands is still a crackback by Redding's and is also legal, permitted it's not an IBB or BBW.

Offline NVFOA_Ump

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Re: Crackback block
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2017, 11:45:21 AM »
IMHO we want to keep in mind that by accepted definition a crackback block is a block by a wide player coming back in toward the middle of the field to make his block.

One type of blindside block may in fact meet the crackback "definition" but a blindside block only requires that the two players are approaching each other in different directions (could be almost anywhere on the field including COP plays) and that the contact in our judgment meets the 2 criteria set out in the rule:

1. Is against a player who does not see the blocker approaching and
2. Is forceful contact initiated with something other than open hands

I honestly do not think that the penalty announcement needs the "illegal" prefix since the flag and penalty enforcement makes the illegal part pretty clear.
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Offline VA Official

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Re: Crackback block
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2017, 12:48:56 PM »
I honestly do not think that the penalty announcement needs the "illegal" prefix since the flag and penalty enforcement makes the illegal part pretty clear.

Agreed, just as we don't add the "illegal" prefix to a block below the waist or block in the back even though there is an instance where they are legal (FBZ).

Offline WingOfficial

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Re: Crackback block
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2017, 03:54:08 PM »
To me, the rule intends to rid the game of the de-cleating licks of the past.

Respectfully disagree here.  You can have a hellacious hit that "de-cleats" an opponent that didn't see it coming.  However, if this block was delivered with open hands, it is legal.

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Crackback block
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2017, 04:35:34 PM »
Respectfully disagree here.  You can have a hellacious hit that "de-cleats" an opponent that didn't see it coming.  However, if this block was delivered with open hands, it is legal.

Actually, I think prosec34 is correct, determining whether, or not, contact  with a "defenseless" player is illegal is a determination made by the covering official observing THAT SPECIFIC contact.  This rule revision was clearly stated as being intended to eliminate EXCESSIVE contacts. 

Contacting with open hands is a recommended manner of avoiding contact being considered EXCESSIVE, but is NOT an absolute guarantee that doing so bypasses the prohibition stated in NFHS 9-4-3G
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 09:49:50 AM by AlUpstateNY »