Football Leverage

What is a Leverage Penalty in Football?

Leverage is a penalty in Football that is called on a team, usually the defense, when a player jumps over opposing players at the line of scrimmage in an attempt to tackle a player or block a kick and they make contact with a player on the opposing team prior or simultaneously as the ball is snapped. A leverage penalty is similar to that of the leaping penalty, but involves a defensive player using an offensive player as a boost for the jump. This penalty results in a loss of 15 yards and an automatic 1st down against the defense.

This penalty is in place to prevent unnecessary injuries as players can easily clip others when attempting to jump over squatting linemen, especially if simultaneous with the snap and the squatting linemen begin to stand.


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