In gridiron football, clipping is the illegal act of a blocker contacting a non-ballcarrying opponent from behind and at or below the waist. In most leagues, the penalty is 15 yards, and if committed by the defense, an automatic first down.[1] It is prohibited because it has the potential to cause injury.[2] Injuries that can be caused by a clipping violation include those to the collateral and cruciate ligaments and the meniscus.[3]

Clipping was first banned in 1916 in the NCAA, and rules prohibiting it gradually went into effect in various leagues in the years that followed.[4]


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