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Football Illegal Blindside Block Penalty

Football Illegal Blindside Block Penalty

A blindside block in football is a very dangerous penalty to commit. It occurs when a player blocks someone who is either not looking at them or in the direction away from the action of play. These blocks can lead to serious head injuries. This type of block was only eliminated from legal play in 2019.


An illegal blindside block happens when a player initiates a block when he is heading in the direction of his own endline or parallel to his own endline. This contact must be forcible with the helmet, shoulder, or forearm to be classified as a blindside block.

These types of blocks have always been dangerous but were legal up until the 2019 season. Owners chose to eliminate this block from the game because it was very unnecessary and led to many avoidable injuries. The most common injury associated with a blindside block is a concussion.

This block is performed when a player down the field is attempting to clear space for the ball carrier who is behind him. He will generally run in the opposite direction of his teammate in order to block a defender chasing down the ball carrier. The rate of speed and opposite directions between the two who create the blindside block is often to a very high degree.

A blindside block will not be called if the block occurs in a close-line play, where the ball has not yet left the area. The ball is defined as not yet left the area if the ball is still in the pocket at the time of the block. Blindside blocks have not occurred as often since the rule change, making it mostly a success in terms of player health and safety.


An illegal blindside block will cost your team 15 yards. This is the maximum distance for a penalty. Depending on how you executed the block, there is a possibility that you could be ejected from the rest of the game. This often happens when the contact of the block was mainly with the helmet, a major factor in head injuries.

Illegal Blindside Block15 Yards15 Yards15 YardsN/A15 Yards

Penalty Signal

Football Penalty Signal Illegal Blindside Block

The signal for a blindside block is an imitation of what occurred during the foul. Two fists will be put together by the referee to illustrate how two players collided from different directions. The motion of the signal may also act as an indicator to how hard the hit was. The referee will also point to the side of the offending team.


  • A player running towards his goal line to deliver a block
  • A player making a block on a player that is not aware of his presence
  • Dangerous contact to a defenseless player

Similar Penalties To Illegal Blindside Block