A cut block in football occurs when an offensive player blocks a defensive player by hitting him below the waist. Cut blocks are often considered dirty but are legal and often used in most levels of football.
That being said cut blocks carry many different rules depending on the league you play in. If you plan on utilizing cut blocks in your next football season it is wise to find out how to do them legally.
Cut Blocks In The NFL
Cut blocks are legal in the NFL and are often used by offensive lineman. Though there are still some rules you need to follow in order to ensure that your cut block is legal.
One thing one needs to avoid when cut blocking in the NFL is a chop block. A chop block occurs when one player is blocking the player up high and another player comes in and cut blocks that same defender.
Previously this play was legal in some situations but in 2016 chop blocks were ruled illegal and now result in a fifteen-yard penalty. Chop blocks are also considered personal fouls so if you pick up two you will be booted from the game.
In the NFL you must also be sure not to cut block once you are more than five yards down the field. If you do this then you have committed an illegal cut block and will receive a fifteen-yard penalty.
In conclusion, you are able to cut block in the NFL. But you must do it when no one else is blocking the defender and you are less than five yards downfield.
Cut Blocks In College Football
Cut blocks are also legal in collegiate football. But the rules on when you are allowed to perform a cut block are even more strict.
First off the only players in college football that are allowed to perform chop blocks are offensive lineman. And only those that line up inside the tackle box. Essentially only guards, centers, and tackles are able to perform cut blocks in NCAA football.
College players must also only use cut blocking if the ball in still inside the tackle box. Once the ball has left the tackle box no cut blocks can legally occur.
This essentially means that cut blocks only occur in a small section of the field. And only for a brief period of time. This allows for the defensive lineman to expect blocks. Meaning they will be less likely to be injured when they come their way.
As often times an unexpected cut block is what results in injuries.
Cut Blocks In High School Football
Cut blocks are entirely illegal in the majority of high school football leagues. The reason for this ban is for player safety purposes.
Using cut blocking does increase the chance of injury for defensive players in the game. By eliminating this player at lower levels like high school football you will ensure younger players won’t have their football career cut short.
What Is The Difference Between Cut Block vs Chop Block?
A chop block as we stated earlier is a block in which one player blocks a defender up high while another player cut blocks the defender.
Essentially one player hits him high while another player hits him low.
A cut block is when a single defender blocks a player by hitting him below his waist. A chop block is an illegal play that will always be called.
A cut blocking can only done by certain players in certain areas of the field but is in fact legal.