CONTACT TOAND WITHTHE HELMET
Greater New OrleansFootball Officials AssociationAugust 5, 2013
NFHS 2013 POINT OF EMPHASIS
KEEP THE HEAD OUT OF FOOTBALLMinimize Risk of Catastrophic InjuriesEliminate Direct Helmet-To-Helmet ContactEliminate Contact With and To HelmetOfficials – Strict Enforcement of RulesPlayer Safety is Top ResponsibilityWhen in Doubt, Contact is a Foul.
ILLEGAL HELMET CONTACT (Rule 2-20)INITIATING CONTACT WITH HELMETButt Block (front of helmet against non-runner)Face Tackle (front of helmet against runner)Spearing (top / crown of helmet)PERSONAL FOUL (Rule 9-4-3i)Includes fouls against opponent lying on the ground, being held up by others, and defenseless opponent.
WHAT IT DOESN’T TELL US
What is a defenseless opponent? Case Book.What about contact to an opponent’s helmet / neck area when the blocker doesn’t use his helmet?Not a lot of examples in case book.Pp. 16-17, 77.
TARGETING OF DEFENSELESS PLAYERSUSING THE HELMET TO PUNISHFORCEFUL CONTACT TO HEAD / NECK AREA
FOULS TO CALL
ILLEGAL HELMET CONTACTRule 9-4-3(i)Use when blocker initiates contact with his helmetUNNECESSARY ROUGHNESSRule 9-3-4(g)Use when blocker doesn’t use helmet but illegally contacts opponent in head or neck areaAlso use for unnecessary hits on players out of the play
NO NFHS DEFINITION – KNOW IT WHEN YOU SEE ITTaking aim to attack an opponent with apparent intent beyond making a legal block or tackleIntentionalActions show the player meant to use the helmet, or meant to contact a defenseless player above shouldersNot simply two helmets that happen to contact each otherNot the hand that slides up to the helmet momentarily
Physical Position / Focus of Concentration Makes Player Especially Vulnerable to Potential InjuryYou know these players when you see themCase Book Examples (pp. 74-75)Draw distinction between necessary contact and that which targets defenseless players
QB after hand-off / pitch and not participatingQB after change of possessionPasser in act of throwing or just afterKicker in act of kicking or just afterPass Receiver concentrating on catch or relaxing after missKick Receiver concentrating on catch OR who has just touched the ballPlayer relaxing when ball is deadPlayer obviously out of playPlayer on the groundPlayer receiving a blind-side block
QB / Passer / KickersReceiversOn Ground / Out of PlayBlindside Block
NOT ALL CONTACT WITH A DEFENSELESS PLAYER IS A FOULHARD LEGAL CONTACT WILL OCCURTHESE WILL BE FAST AND OFF-BALLFOCUS IS THE HELMET AND HEAD
HOW TO JUDGE THE HIT
NEED TO KNOW WHAT’S COMINGFIND THE THREAT – BRICK IN HANDWho is around the Receiver? Who is threatening the passer? Fish swimming up stream?IF YOU ARE FOLLOWING THE BALL IN THE AIR OR WATCHING THE RUNNER IN SPACE, YOU WON’T SEE THISLOOK FOR HIGH OR LOW RISK ACTIONS
LAUNCH– leaves feet with upward and forward thrust to contact head or neck areaTHRUST– upward and forward thrust from a crouching to contact head or neck area, even though feet remain on groundSTRIKE– lead with helmet, forearms, fist, hand, elbow to contact head or neck areaHEAD DIP– lowering head before attack to initiate contact with crown of helmet
HEAD-UP– head is facing player, and crown of helmet does not hit above shouldersWRAP-UP– player uses arms to wrap around player in effort to tackle or restrain himHEAD-TO-SIDE– player’s head is to the side of opponent rather than initiating contactPOSITION CHANGE– position change by players causes helmets to contact incidentally