Holding seems to be an evolving “penalty” at all levels of football. Did you know that the rules in the NFL, College and High School game have NOT been changed to allow defensive linemen to hold? That goes double for youth football, where 48 of the 50 states us NFHS rules, while Texas and Massachusetts use NCAA rules.

Some unethical coaches teach their defensive linemen to grab the legs of the offensive linemen to keep them from pulling. They also will tell their kids to do it to stop wedges. This is a VERY clear violation of the rules, this is what NFHS says about it:

The defense cannot legally do this, per 9-2-3c ART. 3… A defensive player shall not:
c. Use his hands or arms to hook, lock, clamp, grasp, encircle or hold in an effort to restrain an opponent other than the runner.

Many of these unethical coaches will use the excuse that the rules have evolved, offensive linemen can now use their hands etc etc. That “argument” is just an attempt to change the subject and establish a straw man, it has NOTHING to do with defensive holding. Another “argument” is the officials rarely call defensive holding, very hard to see and easy to get away with. Another is since the penalty is so rarely called that the officials approve of the tactic. Well guys, that is like saying most shoplifters never get caught, so it’s OK to shoplift. I know of one High School Hall of Fame Coach who actually said this to me, I have it in text. It’s amazing to me what some people will do to justify their blatantly illegal tactics.

Defensive linemen clearly do not have the right to tackle www.ufabet or grab the legs of offensive linemen, they never have and they don’t have the right to do it today. It is a 15 yard penalty and the referees in our league call that penalty. If your team pulls and wedges, you need to be aware of this rule, watch for violations and alert the officials if you see it happening.

While NONE of us perfect, we all make mistakes, purposely teaching something you KNOW is illegal to impressionable youth seems to fly in the face of what most of us are trying to accomplish in youth football. To continue to use the tactic when you know it is illegal, is something I just don’t quite understand. Most of us are trying to teach life lessons as part of the game. One of the universal lessons many of us are trying to impart is that if you work hard and play by the rules over the long haul good things are going to happen for you. If you are teaching kids to purposely and knowingly cheat to gain an unfair advantage, what are you teaching?