Revised Intentional Grounding and Chop Block Rules: 2022 High School Football Rules Changes

High school football enthusiasts, get ready for some exciting changes coming your way in the 2022 season! The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has announced revisions to the intentional grounding and chop block rules, aiming to enhance player safety and improve the game. In this article, we will delve into the details of these rule changes and explore their impact on the upcoming high school football season.

Revised Intentional Grounding Rule

Understanding the Rule

Intentional grounding is a penalty called against the quarterback when they throw a forward pass that is deliberately aimed at no intended receiver to avoid a sack. The revised rule for 2022 now requires additional factors to be considered before a penalty is assessed.

The New Criteria

Under the revised rule, the quarterback must satisfy one of the following criteria to avoid being penalized for intentional grounding:

  • Throw the ball beyond the line of scrimmage.
  • Throw the ball to an area occupied by an eligible receiver.
  • Throw the ball at the feet of an eligible receiver to save themselves from a sack.

By widening the circumstances in which a quarterback can avoid intentional grounding penalties, the NFHS aims to encourage more strategic and safer gameplay.

Chop Block Rule Changes

Understanding the Rule

A chop block refers to an illegal blocking technique in which one offensive player attempts to cut down an opponent while another offensive player engages them from above. This dangerous maneuver poses a significant risk of injury to the defensive player and has been a point of concern for the NFHS.

The New Guidelines

To mitigate the risk of injury, the NFHS has revised the chop block rule for the 2022 high school football season. The new guidelines define a chop block as any situation in which one offensive player initiates contact with a defensive player below the waist while another offensive player simultaneously engages the defender above the waist.

Implications of the Rule Changes

Enhanced Player Safety

These rule changes reflect the NFHS’s ongoing commitment to prioritizing player safety. By expanding the criteria for intentional grounding and tightening the regulations surrounding chop blocks, the NFHS aims to minimize the risk of injuries and ensure a safer playing environment for all participants.

Strategic Adaptation

Coaches and players will need to adapt their strategies to make the most of the revised intentional grounding rule. Quarterbacks will have increased flexibility to save themselves from sacks, leading to more creative offensive plays and potentially higher scoring games.

Defensive Adjustments

With the stricter chop block guidelines, defensive players may need to adjust their techniques to counter offensive blockers effectively. This change could result in a more level playing field, allowing defenders to apply their skills and disrupt offensive plays more effectively.


As we eagerly await the 2022 high school football season, the revised intentional grounding and chop block rules promise an intriguing gameplay experience. With an emphasis on player safety and strategic adaptation, these rule changes aim to enrich the sport and ensure a fair, exciting, and secure environment for all participants. So, gear up, football fans, and get ready for an electrifying season where the players, coaches, and officials will navigate the revised rules with skill and precision.

Stay tuned for more updates as we explore the exciting world of high school football and its evolving rules.

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