Saturday, May 25, 2024

What Is A Chop Block In Football? A Comprehensive Guide!

So, What Is A Chop Block In Football? I’m going to take you to step by step through this article. Football is often regarded as one of the most hazardous sports played today. It involves a lot of physical bumping, obstructing, or stealing of people’s belongings.

The most effective and aggressive kind of gaming is the chopping block, which is the finest illustration of this type of gameplay. In order to reduce the number of player injuries, the NFL was forced to outlaw this play. This article will provide an explanation of what chop blocks are, why they are prohibited, and how the fines for chop blocks are determined. In addition, we will discuss the chopping block and how it operates in the NFL, as well as how it differs from the cut block.

What Is A Chop Block In Football?

In American football, one of the blocking strategies that may be used is called a “chop block,” and it involves a defensive man being blocked by two offensive players.

The technique of chop blocking has shown to be an effective tool for football teams looking to create gaps in the line of scrimmage. Because of this, it won’t be hard for the ball carrier to locate the room and make his way through.

Because of the significant risk of harm it poses, this risky strategy has been prohibited from being used in all competitions, from the NFL to the NCAA. In general, there are three distinct varieties of chop blocks, which are as follows:

High Low

The high-low block is the kind of block that is used the most often in the sport. The fact that there are two assaulting players obstructing the opponent gives this strategy its name. One of the players takes a high position, while the other takes a low one.

The linemen position is often held by the offensive player in a game of football. One of the players will take on the role of disrupting the defense above the waist, while the other will be in charge of the region below the waist.

Because the defender is so restricted in their movement, this particular style of the block has an exceptionally high rate of success. On the other hand, there is a significant danger of damage to the knee and the ankle for the athlete in question.

The reason for this is that playing in this position requires defenders to awkwardly bend their legs or rotate their ankles, both of which greatly increase the risk of serious injury. Therefore, it was made against the law a very long time ago.

Toward The Play

The flow of the game might be disrupted by yet another variation of the chop blocking. This strategy was still effective in the NFL as recently as the year 2016.

This variety, in its essence, may be traced back to the same roots as the high-low style. When a line-up is constructed, there will always be one defender for every two offensive players. They will divide up the defenders and block them from above and below the waist. As long as “the speed of the game goes towards the block,” the National Football League recognizes this style of play as acceptable.

The board, however, came to the conclusion that this particular variant should be prohibited in 2016 due to the fact that it may still inflict harm to the defender’s body.

Penalty Signal

The referee will indicate the presence of a chop block by lowering his arms in front of his body when he notices one. The palm will be turned such that it is facing upwards and will point forward.

The next action will be a chop to the thighs performed by the umpire. This symbol denotes that the defender has successfully defended them from the onslaught.

Outside The Tackle Box

The version that makes it into the final cut is the one that occurs away from the tackle box. This manner of playing is also against the law, just like the other two variations that were discussed before. Wide receivers are often where this kind of chop blocking gets started most of the time. They will either go to the sidelines or come within the line while they are in it.

The defensive player will then be taken aback when the wide receiver surprises him by blocking a shot in the blind area. Because of this, the person carrying the ball will have access to a huge gap in which to move. A crackback block is an alternative form of this block that is also unlawful. In each of these iterations, players will have to block using their shoulders, but they will direct their attention to different areas.

The parts below the waist are the ones that the chop blocking will often target. It poses a threat since it has the potential to produce an unnatural curvature of the defender’s body. A crackback block, on the other hand, would go for the shoulder of the outside linebacker or defensive end.

Why Are Chop Blocks Illegal in Football?

What Is A Chop Block In Football?

At every level of football, the use of chop blocks is prohibited. The primary reason for this is that it puts the player who is being blocked in serious danger of sustaining an injury.

Knee and ankle injuries, including rips to the MCL and ACL, are the most common types of injury sustained by chop blocks. If a player sustains an injury of this kind, they will almost certainly need surgery, and it is possible that they may be unable to play football for a significant amount of time, or perhaps for the rest of their life.

At the beginning of the 2016 NFL season, chop blocks of any kind were declared to be against the rules. Prior to the implementation of the new regulation, there were circumstances in which the use of chop blocks was permitted.

The number of knee injuries suffered by defensive players both before and after the rule was altered was the subject of research that was recently published in the Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine. According to the findings of the research, there was a significant reduction in the number of knee injuries that occurred when all chop blocks were made to be unlawful penalties.

What Is the Penalty for a Chop Block?

The team that was penalized for the chopping block received a 15-yard loss of yardage from the referee. The offensive team will advance 15 yards in the direction opposite their goal line. There is a chance that the two penalties will be nullified if the offensive team commits a chop block during the same play as the defensive team commits a penalty. This scenario is possible if the defensive team commits a penalty during the same play. Because a chop block results in a penalty of 15 yards, the defense has to commit a penalty of the same length for the penalties to cancel each other out.

However, depending on the league, there are a few different methods that officials will execute the two penalties if the defensive team receives a penalty that is less than 15 yards in length.

According to the rulebook of the National Football League (NFL), a significant infraction such as a chop block has priority over a lesser defensive penalty. The officials were going to ignore the penalty that was given to the defense, and they were going to give the 15-yard penalty to the offense instead.

What Is A Chop Block In Football?

In certain leagues, such as the Canadian Football League, the two penalties would cancel one other out, and the offense would be penalized for the yards that were caused by the infractions.

Consider the following scenario: on the same play when the defense commits a penalty that costs them 10 yards, the offense commits a chop block. Both punishments would be carried out, and they would cancel each other out. As a consequence of the offense’s infraction, they will be penalized five yards at the end of the play.

In the event that the actions associated with a chop block occur, but the contact is accidental, a chop block penalty will not be called. The referees will decide whether or not there was inadvertent contact.

What Is A Cut Block In Football?

The chop block and the cut block are pretty comparable to one another, in general. The amount of players on the attacking team is what makes the difference.

When an attacking player blocks the lower half of the defender, they are engaging in conduct known as a cut block. In contrast to chop blocks, just a single attacker is needed to successfully execute a cut block.

Are Cut Blocks Illegal In Football?

What Is A Chop Block In Football?

Cut blocks, as opposed to chop blocks, are allowed to be used in football. There is no violation of the rule if there is just one offensive player blocking the defensive player and the block is made in the direction that the game is being played.

It is against the law to use any Chop Block, even in the following circumstances: Plays in which the ball is kicked or passed forward include the following sequence: A1 chops a defensive player while that player is being physically engaged above the waist by the blocking effort of A2.

What is the difference between a cut block and a chop block?

A chop block is similar to a cut block, with the exception that an extra player is added to block the defender’s upper body. A cut block is when just one offensive player from the offensive team blocks the defensive player from the defensive team, and the block occurs below the waist of the defensive player.

It makes no difference whether the offensive player makes the first contact during a chop block whether they win or lose. Either a cut block or a chop block may happen after a lawful upper body block, but only one of these two outcomes is possible at any one time.

Because of the similarities between a chop block and a cut block, players need to be very cautious not to start a chop block if there is already a cut block in progress. If a second offensive player joins a cut block, this may result in a chop block, which is an unlawful variation of the cut block.

NFL Rules on Chop Blocks

What Is A Chop Block In Football?

In the National Football League, chop blocks are prohibited, and the penalty for doing so is 15 yards. Prior to the beginning of the 2016 season, there were a few instances in which chop blocks were considered to be within the bounds of the law.

The following is the official regulation for chop blocks in the National Football League:

A Chop Block is a type of offensive block in which one offensive player (designated as A1 for the purposes of this rule) blocks a defensive player in the area of the thigh or lower while another offensive player (designated as A2) engages that same defensive player above the waist. This type of block is executed by the offense.

The National Football League (NFL) not only has a rule against chop blocks but also specifies six different scenarios in which they are prohibited.

During passing and kicking plays:

  • A1 gives a player on the defense a chop while that player is being physically engaged above the waist by the blocking effort of A2.
  • A2 makes a blocking effort by physically engaging a defensive player above the waist, and A1 gives the defensive player a chop after the contact made by A2 has been broken while A2 is still facing the defensive player.
  • While A1 chops a defensive player, A2 engages the defensive player in a pass-blocking position but does not physically interact with the player (this is called a “lure”).
  • A1 blocks a defensive player in the region of the thigh or below, while A2 engages the defensive player high (“reverse chop”) either simultaneously or soon after the block by A1.

During running plays:

  • At the moment of the snap, A1 is positioned in the backfield, and shortly after, he chops a defensive player who is engaged by A2 above the waist.
  • A1, a member of the offensive line, chops a defensive player after A2, another member of the offensive line, has engaged the defensive player in combat (high or low).

There were two instances in the past in which chop blocks were permitted, but as of 2016, they are not permitted under any circumstances in an effort to reduce the risk of injury to players. Before 2016, the following was the official rule of the NFL:

On Running Plays, the following conditions allow for the use of a Chop Block as a lawful block.

  • Chops may be attempted on defensive players by offensive players A1 and A2, who are originally positioned next to each other on the line of scrimmage.
  • When the action is moving toward the block, offensive players A1 and A2, who is originally situated more than one position apart from each other on the line of scrimmage, are allowed to chop a defensive player.
  • At the moment of the snap, A1 is positioned in the backfield, and when the ball is snapped, he chops a defensive player who is engaged above the waist by A2. This block takes place outside of the space that was initially occupied by the tight end on either side.
  • Players and coaches need to be aware of the change in the rules in order to avoid being penalized and being hurt. In the past, they were permitted, but now they are not.


Why is it called a chop block?

The initial attacker would try to make contact above the waist of the defender. The second attacker would then rush in and deliver a low blow to the defender’s midsection. According to NFL regulations, this was acceptable so long as the block happened while the “flow of the play is toward the block.”

What is a legal cut block in football?

Cut blocking is a technique used by offensive linemen in gridiron football in which the offensive man knocks down the defensive player by striking him in the knees.

What does illegal chop block mean?

When one offensive player (designated as A1 for purposes of this regulation) blocks a defensive player at the thigh or below and another offensive player (designated as A2) confronts the same defensive player at the waist or above, this is called a Chop Block.

Can Offensive Lineman Chop Block?

No. Chopping blocks are not permitted for any player at any time. Their cut block, though, is effective against the defender’s legs.

Is Chop Blocking Legal In Youth Football?

No. Chop blocking of any kind is prohibited at all levels of football, including youth leagues.

When did chop blocks become illegal?

As a result, the NFL took steps to restrict the usage of such blocks until ultimately banning them altogether in 2016. It had been 36 years since the NCAA had outlawed the use of the chopping block in college football.


What is chop blocking in football? If two attackers chop block a defender from below the waist, they will be assessed a penalty. If the passer is aggressive, he or she will be able to discover openings and gain ground more quickly. The player, who is blocked, however, is at high risk of being hurt.

Chop blocks are no longer allowed in any form of rugby league due to the risk they pose to players. Even more so, you should never try it out while really playing.

Abu Bakar
Abu Bakar
Abubakar is a writer and digital marketing expert. Who has founded multiple blogs and successful businesses in the fields of digital marketing, software development. A full-service digital media agency that partners with clients to boost their business outcomes.