NFL Video Rulebook

The NFL Video Rulebook explains NFL rules with video examples.

Illegal Use of Hands / Facemask

Rule Summary View Official Rule

ILLEGAL BLOCK BY OFFENSIVE PLAYER

It is a foul if an offensive blocker:

  1. Thrusts his hands forward above the frame of an opponent to contact him on the head, neck, or face

Note: Contact in close-line play that is not direct and forcible is not a foul.

TWISTING, PULLING, OR TURNING THE FACEMASK

No player shall grasp and control, twist, turn, push, or pull the facemask of an opponent in any direction.

Note: If a player grasps an opponent’s facemask, he must immediately release it. If he does not immediately release it and controls his opponent, it is a foul.

Penalty: For twisting, turning, pushing, pulling, or controlling the mask: Loss of 15 yards. The player may be disqualified if the action is flagrant. If the foul is by the defense, it is also an automatic first down.

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