Elimination of Clipping in Free-Blocking Zone Continues Risk Minimization in High School Football

Monday, August 22, 2016

The elimination of clipping from high school football is the latest attempt to reduce the risk of injury made by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Football Rules Committee.

The decision to eliminate clipping in the free-blocking zone (Rule 2-17-3) was the most significant of three rules changes recommended by the NFHS Football Rules Committee at its January 22-24 meeting in Indianapolis. All rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

“With very few major rules changes approved by the NFHS Football Rules Committee for the 2016 season, it indicates that the committee feels that the rules of the game are in pretty good shape,” said Bob Colgate, director of sports and sports medicine at the NFHS and staff liaison for football.

Clipping, as previously stated in Rule 2-17-3, was permitted in the free-blocking zone when it met three conditions; however, clipping is now illegal anywhere on the field at any time. According to the rule, the free-blocking zone is defined as a rectangular area extending laterally 4 yards either side of the spot of the snap and 3 yards behind each line of scrimmage.

2016 Football Rule Changes

Monday, August 22, 2016

1-5-1d(5)a: Further clarified the required specifications for the tooth and mouth protector.

Rationale: Completely clear or completely white tooth and mouth protectors are no longer prohibited. Tooth and mouth protectors shall include an occlusal (protecting and separating the biting surfaces) portion and include a labial (protecting the teeth and supporting structures) portion.

1-5 NOTE; 1-5-2b: Added the new Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) football glove specification to the existing rule.

Rationale: Football gloves are now required to meet either the new SFIA specification or the existing NOCSAE test standard at the time of manufacture.

2-17; 9-3-6; 9-3 PENALTY: Clipping in the free-blocking is now illegal.

Rationale: In a continued effort to minimize risk, the Committee made clipping in the free-blocking zone illegal. Clipping is now illegal anywhere on the field at any time.



Diagram NOTE; 1-5-1b(1); 1-5-1b(2)a, (3)a; 1-5-3a(1)a; 2-38; 4-3-2; 5-1-1b; 7-5
PENALTY; 9-3-5; 9-4-3h; 9-5-1a; 9-8-1a; 10-2-5; 10-5-1a; PENALTY SUMMARY.


1. Risk Minimization
2. Legal and Illegal Blocks
3. Legal Jerseys, Pants and Pads
4. Unfair Acts

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GICAA State Championship

GICAA logo

GOAA is honored being selected to work the State Championship games for GICAA (Georgia Independent Christian Athletic Association). 

  • State Championship - Creekside at Covenant Academy
    Friday 11/20 at 7:30 
  • State Championship - Johnson Ferry Christian at Horizon
    Saturday 11/21 at 7:30 
  • Semi-finals - Harvester at Central Christian (8 man)
    Friday 11/20 at 7:30

Football Rules Changes - 2015

By NFHS on February 14, 2015

SPEARING DEFINITION REVISED (2-20-1c): Continuing the focus of risk minimization, the definition for the illegal helmet contact act of spearing was revised. Spearing is an act by any player who initiates contact against an opponent at the shoulders or below with the crown (top portion) of his/her helmet.

CORRECTING A DOWN NUMBER ADDED (5-1-1b NEW): The referee is granted authorization to correct the number of the next down before a new series of downs is awarded.

2015 Football Rule Changes Announced

High School Football Rules Changes Continue Focus on Risk Minimization

By NFHS on February 13, 2015

In its ongoing effort to minimize the risk of injury in high school football, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Football Rules Committee expanded the provisions of unnecessary roughness to include contact with a defenseless player.

Corky Kell Classic 2015

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The 2015 Corky Kell Classic matchups have been released and it will be a shuffle of last year’s two-day, seven-game event. The first day (Friday, Aug. 21) will be held at McEachern High School and will feature a double-header that will kickoff at 5:45 pm between Sandy Creek and Creekview. The Friday nightcap will pin 2014 Class AAAAAA runner-up Archer and North Paulding.

Mike Samples named to SPSU Athletics Hall of Fame

Mike Samples  - ACC

Thirty-four student-athletes named to Athletics Hall of Fame
SPSU -  Wed, Sep. 3, 2014 at 4:55 PM

MARIETTA, Ga. – A total of 34 former Southern Polytechnic State University student-athletes have been named to the institution's Athletics Hall of Fame. In April, former athletic director Matt Griffin announced that Southern Polytechnic would establish its first-ever Athletics Hall of Fame to celebrate the accomplishments of its greatest student-athletes, coaches, special contributors and teams over the past six-plus decades of intercollegiate competition.


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