Author Topic: 2021 Rule Change - FBZ  (Read 778 times)

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Offline Patrick E.

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Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: 2021 Rule Change - FBZ
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2021, 04:33:38 PM »

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: 2021 Rule Change - FBZ
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2021, 12:53:34 PM »
Here is the NFHS article- https://www.nfhs.org/articles/blocking-below-the-waist-in-free-blocking-zone-addressed-in-high-school-football-rules/

These additions seem to standardize advice previously indicated in recent POE instructions regarding FBZ quidance related to "shotgun" formations.

Online Ralph Damren

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Re: 2021 Rule Change - FBZ
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2021, 08:11:47 AM »
This should clarify the ability to block below the waist when in the shotgun. Eliminating the BBW by a pulling lineman was considered a safety issue, and leaves only the block from behind ABOVE the waist in the FBZ for our focus.

Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: 2021 Rule Change - FBZ
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2021, 08:15:09 AM »
This should clarify the ability to block below the waist when in the shotgun. Eliminating the BBW by a pulling lineman was considered a safety issue, and leaves only the block from behind ABOVE the waist in the FBZ for our focus.
I thought so too, but just for the sake of clarity, do you interpret the initial charge bbw to be legal in the shotgun?

Another question: some have mentioned their associations banning the block from a two point stance. Do you consider an initial charge block below the waist from a two point stance to be legal? Or no?


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Online Ralph Damren

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Re: 2021 Rule Change - FBZ
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2021, 01:05:01 PM »
I thought so too, but just for the sake of clarity, do you interpret the initial charge bbw to be legal in the shotgun?

Another question: some have mentioned their associations banning the block from a two point stance. Do you consider an initial charge block below the waist from a two point stance to be legal? Or no?


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IMHO, this clears both issues. As long as initial charge is below the waist, it is legal if from the shotgun or 2-point stance. Part of the reasoning was that different areas were interp this differently. Now, hopefully, we'll all be on the same page. :sTiR:

Editor's note : I've been on the NFHS Rules Committee since 1992, and is the voting session I've attended without a hangover  tR:oLl :puke: tR:oLl

Offline CalhounLJ

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Re: 2021 Rule Change - FBZ
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2021, 01:07:57 PM »
IMHO, this clears both issues. As long as initial charge is below the waist, it is legal if from the shotgun or 2-point stance. Part of the reasoning was that different areas were interp this differently. Now, hopefully, we'll all be on the same page. :sTiR:

Editor's note : I've been on the NFHS Rules Committee since 1992, and is the voting session I've attended without a hangover  tR:oLl :puke: tR:oLl
Lol. Good for you.


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Offline ncwingman

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Re: 2021 Rule Change - FBZ
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2021, 10:54:06 AM »
We're about halfway through the 2020 season, so this isn't an urgent thought/question, but I was re-reading the press release and there's an odd specificity in it.

New rule -- BBW is only legal as an immediate, initial action after between linemen in the FBZ.

Generally, we've been hyper focusing on offensive linemen in 2 vs. 3/4 point stances and the press release mentions "Under the current rule, an offensive lineman can delay and then block below the waist if the ball is still in the zone."

However, 2-17-2 doesn't restrict a legal BBW to only offensive players (unlike a BIB, which is explicitly allowed for offensive linemen vs. defensive players in the zone, but not the other way around). A defensive lineman may BBW by the current rule, with the same potential delay.

I don't know if anybody with insider knowledge could clarify, but I assume that isn't going to change and a defensive lineman in the zone could still BBW legally under the same restrictions?

Offline bossman72

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Re: 2021 Rule Change - FBZ
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2021, 03:05:57 PM »
We're about halfway through the 2020 season, so this isn't an urgent thought/question, but I was re-reading the press release and there's an odd specificity in it.

New rule -- BBW is only legal as an immediate, initial action after between linemen in the FBZ.

Generally, we've been hyper focusing on offensive linemen in 2 vs. 3/4 point stances and the press release mentions "Under the current rule, an offensive lineman can delay and then block below the waist if the ball is still in the zone."

However, 2-17-2 doesn't restrict a legal BBW to only offensive players (unlike a BIB, which is explicitly allowed for offensive linemen vs. defensive players in the zone, but not the other way around). A defensive lineman may BBW by the current rule, with the same potential delay.

I don't know if anybody with insider knowledge could clarify, but I assume that isn't going to change and a defensive lineman in the zone could still BBW legally under the same restrictions?

They're going to be more liberal with what "immediate" means.  The 2 point stance interpretation was way too restrictive.  Now we don't care where the ball is, just that the cut has to be "immediate".

To me, if the lineman takes 1 step and cuts before/as his second step hits the ground, that's immediate.  But we'll see what kind of guidance we get.

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: 2021 Rule Change - FBZ
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2021, 06:41:41 PM »
A victory for common sense and clarity, although there may yet be some ongoing questions about what "Immediately" really (REALLY) means.

Offline bama_stripes

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Re: 2021 Rule Change - FBZ
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2021, 08:00:41 AM »
A victory for common sense and clarity, although there may yet be some ongoing questions about what "Immediately" really (REALLY) means.

Our group defines “immediate” as meaning “as soon as he leaves his stance.”  If his first move is to BBW, then he’s OK.  This would almost always be against a lineman who is adjacent to him at the snap.

Offline ncwingman

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Re: 2021 Rule Change - FBZ
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2021, 10:27:28 AM »
Right, I'm glad we're still debating "immediate" and stances... which skips over the point I was asking about, as people had been debating "immediate" and stances and glossing over this detail.

Under the new rule (and the old rule as well), a legal block below the waist may (still) occur in the FBZ by a defensive player as long as all the other conditions are met, correct?

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: 2021 Rule Change - FBZ
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2021, 12:50:32 PM »
Yes that is correct, and one of the most effective means of eliminating protection for a runner is taking out the lead blocker(s) with a BBW.  Often officiating focus is directed more at the Offensive blockers and adherence to BBW restrictions, as they apply equally to Defenders, escapes critical attention.

Offline NVFOA_Ump

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Re: 2021 Rule Change - FBZ
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2021, 09:02:01 PM »
So the way I'm reading the new language (note that there is no mention of either offense or defense) IMHO means that only linemen can BBW and the first action at the snap must be to initiate the BBW.  That, again IMHO, will mean a lineman on either side of the ball may BBW only the opposing lineman that is directly in front of him or in a gap formation the lineman just to his right or left?
« Last Edit: March 15, 2021, 09:27:11 AM by NVFOA_Ump »
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Offline bossman72

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Re: 2021 Rule Change - FBZ
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2021, 09:14:32 PM »
Right, I'm glad we're still debating "immediate" and stances... which skips over the point I was asking about, as people had been debating "immediate" and stances and glossing over this detail.

Under the new rule (and the old rule as well), a legal block below the waist may (still) occur in the FBZ by a defensive player as long as all the other conditions are met, correct?

Yes.  Just basically has to be his first move.

So the way I'm reading the new language (there is no mention of either offense or defense) that IMHO means that only linemen can BBW and the first action at the snap must be to initiate the BBW.  That, again IMHO, will mean a lineman on either side of the ball may a BBW only the opposing lineman that is directly in front of him or in a gap formation the lineman just to his right or left?

Probably... that sounds reasonable.

The whole issue before with the "immediate" definition, the stances, etc was that people were trying to answer the question "What move can be performed in the interval of time that the ball is in the free blocking zone when in shotgun?" 

Now, we are eliminating that question.  We don't care where the ball is, so we don't have a time restriction.  So we're going to make a new definition of "immediate" to mean the first move by a lineman out of his stance.  How liberal that's going to be will yet to be seen.

If I were king, interpreting the new rule, I would allow linemen to cut on their first step.  As long as they made contact before/simultaneous to their second step hitting the ground, I'd say legal cut.  Almost like travelling in basketball with the steps.  If you take 2 steps, it's not immediate and it would be a foul.  Like NVFOA_Ump said, you'd probably only be able to execute this against someone in your gap or head up on the adjacent lineman, depending on how wide splits are.  That's why I wouldn't use gap alignment as a barometer, because some spread teams like to have very wide splits and some Wing-T teams like to have foot-to-foot splits.  If offenses are foot-to-foot, you could certainly cut someone immediately that's heads up on the adjacent lineman from you.  And if they're wide splits like a spread offense, you might not be able to!

« Last Edit: March 14, 2021, 09:19:25 PM by bossman72 »