NFHS Pass Interference
Presenter: Rich Czarnecki
PIAA District 3
Pass Interference Rules Apply
There is a Legal Forward Pass;
Legal Forward Pass Crosses the Neutral
Legal Forward Pass is Untouched by
Team B In or Behind the Neutral Zone;
Interference Occurs Beyond the NZ.
All of the Above Must Be Present.
Forward Passes Legal Except When:
Pass After Team Possession Has Changed
During a Down
Pass From Beyond the Neutral Zone
Pass Intentionally Thrown into an Area not
Occupied by an Eligible Offensive Player
Pass Intentionally Thrown Incomplete to
Save Loss of Yardage or to Conserve Time
(Exception: Grounded After a Hand-toHand Snap)
A Second or Subsequent Forward Pass
Thrown During a Down
RESTRICTIONS IN EFFECT
For all A and B Players until the ball
is touched or the pass is incomplete.
Restrictions for A begin at the snap.
Restrictions for B begin when the ball
leaves the passer’s hand.
For all A players , when B touches a
legal forward pass;
For all eligible A players when A
touches a legal forward pass.
Ineligible A players may not touch
pass can legally block to ward off an
For all B players when legal forward
pass touched by A or B.
FOWARD PASS INTERFERENCE
Any A or B player who is beyond the
neutral zone interferes with an
eligible opponent’s opportunity to
move toward, catch or bat the pass.
Any player hinders an opponent’s
vision without making an attempt to
catch, intercept or bat the ball, even
though no contact was made.
May have “intentional” pass
interference (15 yard tack on).
ELIGIBLE PASS RECEIVERS
All A players eligible by legal position
and number at the snap (legally on
the end of the line or in the backfield
- total of 6 and numbered 1-49 or
All A players when B touches the
All B players.
Players eligible at start of down
remain eligible through out the
NOT FORWARD PASS
Unavoidable contact occurs when two or
more eligibles are making a simultaneous,
bona fide attempt to move toward, catch
or bat the pass.
Contact by A is immediately made on a
team B lineman and the contact does not
continue beyond the expanded neutral
Contact by B is obviously away from the
HIGH PROBABILITY FOR
When a defender gets beat and is in
a chase mode (DPI)
When a defender bites on a fake
When A is on the 5 yard line and in
DEFENSIVE PASS INTERFERENCE
ARM BAR – Arm across the body restricting the
HOLD – Grabbing an opponent preventing him from
reaching the pass.
NOT PLAYING THE BALL – Not making a bona fide effort
to reach the pass.
PLAYING THROUGH THE BACK – Contacting an
opponent through the back even when making an effort
to get to the pass.
HOOK AND TURN – Hooking the arm around the waist
or shoulders and turning the opponent while
attempting to get to the pass.
CUT-OFF – Restrict or prevent an opponent from
moving toward a pass.
OFFENSIVE PASS INTERFERENCE
BLOCKING DOWNFIELD – Blocking
an eligible A receiver before the pass
has been touched (Picks).
CREATING SEPERATION – Pushing off
and creating a separation advantage
DRIVING TOWARD DEFENDER WHO
Legal forward pass must be
“catchable” to have pass
interference. (NFHS not required)
Must have “contact” to have pass
interference. (Face guarding)
Touching of a pass by an ineligible
beyond the neutral zone is offensive
pass interference. (Illegal Touching)
If by A: 15 yards plus loss of down
If by B: 15 yards plus first down
Basic Spot: Previous Spot
If intentional by A or B: Additional 15 yard
penalty from succeeding spot