Football rules change bans clipping at any time on any part of the field

Clipping will be illegal anywhere on the field in high school football after the rules committee for the National Federation of State High School Associations removed the rule that allowed clipping in the free-blocking zone.

Blocking in the back or the back of the leg had been allowed in the zone, which is the rectangular area extending laterally four yards either side of the spot of the snap and three yards behind each line of scrimmage.

“The NFHS Football Rules Committee’s action this year on making clipping illegal in the free-blocking zone once again reinforces its continued effort to minimize risk within the game,” Bob Colgate, director of sports and sports medicine at the NFHS and staff liaison for football, said in a statement.

Two other changes announced Wednesday involve equipment.

Tooth and mouth protectors that are completely clear or completely white will now be allowed. There were no changes in the requirements of the function of the equipment, just the color.

Also, according to the NFHS, football gloves are now required to meet either the new Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) specifications or the existing National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) test standard at the time of manufacture.