HomeMore Sports

Football

American Football101ArticlesBowl GamesCoachingCollege FootballDefensive AlignmentsDrillsEquipmentFlag FootballHistoryHow ToKick TypesLeaguesLingoNFL FootballNFL TeamsOffensive FormationsOfficialsPass TypesPenaltiesCFL Football Penalties ReferenceCFL Football Penalties Reference By CategoryCollege Football Penalties ReferenceCollege Football Penalties Reference By CategoryFootball 10 Yard Penalties ListFootball 15 Yard Penalties ListFootball 5 Yard Penalties ListFootball Assisting The Runner PenaltyFootball Blocking a Kicking Team Player Out of Bounds PenaltyFootball Chop BlockFootball Clipping PenaltyFootball Defenseless Player PenaltyFootball Defensive Delay Of Game PenaltyFootball Defensive Holding PenaltyFootball Defensive Offside PenaltyFootball Defensive Pass Interference PenaltyFootball Delay Of Game PenaltyFootball Delay Of Kickoff PenaltyFootball Disconcerting Acts or Signals PenaltyFootball Disqualification PenaltyFootball Double Foul PenaltyFootball Encroachment PenaltyFootball Equipment Violation PenaltyFootball Excess Timeouts PenaltyFootball Excessive Celebration PenaltyFootball Facemask PenaltyFootball Fair Catch Interference PenaltyFootball False Start PenaltyFootball Forcibly Contacting a Player Out of Bounds PenaltyFootball Foul TypesFootball Goaltending PenaltyFootball Horse Collar PenaltyFootball Illegal Bat PenaltyFootball Illegal Blindside Block PenaltyFootball Illegal Block Above The Waist PenaltyFootball Illegal Block After Fair Catch Signal PenaltyFootball Illegal Block Below the Waist PenaltyFootball Illegal Block In The Back PenaltyFootball Illegal Contact PenaltyFootball Illegal Crackback PenaltyFootball Illegal Cut Block PenaltyFootball Illegal Double Team Block PenaltyFootball Illegal Formation PenaltyFootball Illegal Forward Handoff PenaltyFootball Illegal Forward Pass PenaltyFootball Illegal Kick Kicking Loose Ball PenaltyFootball Illegal Motion PenaltyFootball Illegal Peel Back PenaltyFootball Illegal Shift PenaltyFootball Illegal Snap PenaltyFootball Illegal Substitution PenaltyFootball Illegal Touching of a Forward Pass PenaltyFootball Illegal Touching of a Kick PenaltyFootball Illegal Use Of Hands PenaltyFootball Illegal Wedge PenaltyFootball Incomplete Forward Pass PenaltyFootball Ineligible Downfield Kick PenaltyFootball Ineligible Downfield Pass PenaltyFootball Ineligible Receiver Downfield PenaltyFootball Intentional Grounding PenaltyFootball Invalid Fair Catch Signal PenaltyFootball Kick Catch Interference PenaltyFootball Kickoff Out Of Bounds PenaltyFootball Leaping PenaltyFootball Leg Whip PenaltyFootball Leverage PenaltyFootball Low Block PenaltyFootball Neutral Zone Infraction PenaltyFootball Offensive Holding PenaltyFootball Offensive Offside PenaltyFootball Offensive Pass Interference PenaltyFootball Offside On Free Kick PenaltyFootball Offside PenaltyFootball Palpably Unfair Act PenaltyFootball Pass Interference PenaltyFootball Penalties ListFootball Personal Foul PenaltyFootball Player Out Of Bounds On Kick PenaltyFootball Removal of the Helmet PenaltyFootball Roughing The Holder PenaltyFootball Roughing The Kicker PenaltyFootball Roughing The Passer PenaltyFootball Running Into The Kicker PenaltyFootball Sideline Infraction PenaltyFootball Striking, Kicking, or Kneeing an Opponent PenaltyFootball Taunting PenaltyFootball Too Many Men On Field PenaltyFootball Tripping PenaltyFootball Unnecessary Physical Contact With Game Official PenaltyFootball Unnecessary Roughness PenaltyFootball Unsportsmanlike Conduct PenaltyFootball Use Of Helmet PenaltyHigh School Football Penalties ReferenceHigh School Football Penalties Reference By CategoryNFL Football Penalties By CategoryNFL Football Penalties ReferencePlayersPlaysPositionsQuestionsRulesScrimmage DownsSkillsStatisticsStrategyTeam StaffThe FieldTrophies
  1. Home
  2. American Football
  3. Football Illegal Block In The Back Penalty

Football Illegal Block In The Back Penalty

Football Illegal Block In The Back Penalty

An illegal block in the back is a penalty called in football when a player on the offensive or kicking team makes contact above the waist with an opposing player who doesn't have the ball. This penalty results in a 10-yard penalty from the spot of the foul.


Definition

An illegal block in the back penalty, also known as an illegal block above the waist, is called when a player that is attempting to make a tackle gets blocked above the waist from behind. When this happens, the referees determine where the penalty happened and move the ball ten yards back from that spot instead of from the line of scrimmage.

An illegal block in the back penalty is not called if there is a loose ball and the contact was made during an attempt to recover the ball. The penalty is also not called if a player turns their back at the last second leaving the offensive or kicking team player no choice but to block them in the back. Lastly, if a blocking player gets either of their hands on the side of the player they are blocking, no penalty is called.

An illegal block in the back penalty can be called on an offensive team but is usually reserved for special teams plays. This is because the gunners are streaking downfield and the player guarding them usually gets caught behind them. This leads them to try and make up for getting beat when the return happens and leads them to block a player in the back.

Result

PenaltyNFLNCAAHigh SchoolCFLAFL
Illegal Block In The Back10 Yards from spot of foul10 Yards from spot of foul10 Yards from spot of foul10 Yards from spot of foul10 Yards from spot of foul

An illegal block in the back penalty results in a 10-yard penalty from the spot of the foul in the NFL, NCAA, High School, CFL, and AFL.

Penalty Signal

Football Penalty Signal Illegal Block In The Back

When calling an illegal block in the back, a referee holds one hand forward with their palm out and grabs their wrist with the other hand. They then push their hands forward to signal that the block in the back occurred.

Examples

  • A gunner on the punt team beats their blocker and when the punt is fielded, the blocker blocks the gunner from behind to try and help the return.
  • A wide receiver catches a pass and another receiver blocks a defender in the back to try and help them break away from defenders.

Similar Penalties To Illegal Block In The Back