Blindside Block with respect to the Free Blocking Zone Questions

By Bruce Maurer

Is a Blindside Block legal inside the FBZ at any time by any player regardless of where the ball is?

No. There is no FBZ when the ball leaves the zone.

Is the statements of inside/outside the FBZ just referring to the area/location on the field, or do all of the other restrictions of the FBZ apply for a Blindside Block exception inside the FBZ?

Yes the restrictions of the existence of the zone (ball in the zone) apply. But remember, the definition states that the opponent does not see the blocker approaching. That implies they are coming from a distance (crack back). In close line play this does not exist.

If the other FBZ restrictions are in effect – which restrictions are applicable (only linemen on linemen such as Blocking Below the waist, or Team A lineman against any Team B player who is the FBZ at the snap such as the block in the back)?

Just the exiistence of the zone.

Does this Blindside Block exception in the FBZ disappear when the ball leaves the FBZ (when the FBZ disintegrates)?

It can, but see “c” above.

Consider the following play situation. Is this a legal or illegal Blindside Block inside the “FBZ”? 1. QB in shotgun formation 5 yards behind the LOS and receives the snap. 2. Trap Play with Team A71 (backside lineman – tackle position) pulling to “trap” B50 (Team B lineman). 3. B50 is concentrating on the play in the Team A’s backfield and does not see A71 coming. 4. The contact by A71 is forceful and occurs in the area that had been defined as the FBZ (but the FBZ has disintegrated when the ball left the FBZ).

I say LEGAL because this is close line play and the opponent has reasonable opportunity to see this block coming. I heve sent this play to the Rules Committee chair, co-chair and editor for confirmation.