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Pass Coverage

  1. Contacting receivers within the initial five yards from scrimmage is allowed as long as the ball is not in the air.

  2. Contact within the initial five yards must be continuous and applied “inside the frame” of the body.

  3. A defender may turn an opponent “off their route” as long as the defender’s hands are “inside the frame”. 

  4. Pass interference normally occurs above the waist; entangled feet are not considered pass interference.

  5. Incidental contact is not considered pass interference.

  6. A player may “find” her opponent by reaching out and placing a hand on her as long as touching does not delay or impede her.  This is not considered pass interference.

  7. Contact away from the direction of the pass is not considered pass interference.

  8. Examples of pass interference include:

    1. Shoving or pushing off to create separation.

    2. Playing through the back.

    3. Hook and turn: the defender grabbing the receiver around the torso and turning the receiver before the pass arrives.

    4. Not playing the ball: the defender is looking at the receiver and contact materially impedes the receiver.

    5. Arm bars, hooking, restricting, grabbing wrists, or turning a receiver.         

    6. Blocking downfield before the ball has been touched, commonly seen through “pick plays”.

    7. Cutting off the path of a receiver by being in front of her and slowing down or being beside her and “riding” her off her path to the ball.

  9. Whether a pass is catchable or uncatchable has no bearing on pass interference.

  10. A player may use her arms or hands to intentionally obstruct the receiver’s view (face guarding) of the ball without turning her own head to play the ball as long as contact is not made with the receiver.


  1. Interceptions may be returned.

  2. In the event of an interception, the intercepting team must secure the ball with “clean hands,” i.e., they must not have committed a foul before or simultaneous to the interception.

  3. If the intercepting team gained the interception with “clean hands” they will be awarded a first down where the ball becomes dead (flag pull, stepping out-of-bounds, fumbled, etc.)

  4. The ball will be spotted wherever the ball was at the time of the flag pull or the ball carrier left the field-of-play.

  5. Fouls by the intercepting team after an interception will be assessed from the spot of the foul. 

  6. Fouls by the intercepted team after the interception will be assessed at the end of the run.