Thoughts on the Targeting Guidelines

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The Targeting Guidelines document was published by Rogers Redding in March of 2013. I want to reference it and try to help any of you who have called or emailed me with questions. It appears this particular foul and accompanying penalty have caused some concern, which is understandable, so I want to perhaps clear up some misunderstanding. It would help if you follow along in the Targeting Guidelines while I try to explain some things.


First, we need to understand that the rule itself is basically the same as last year, the only change is in the penalty and some additional definitions/notes that were added to reinforce the intent of the rule that has always existed. Heretofore, we have been of the philosophy that if it is high and questionable, throw your flag. With the added disqualification penalty, these hits have drawn a lot of attention, so now, rather than “if it is high and looks bad throw your flag”, we want to understand the rule and only call Targeting (TGT) when it is in fact "Targeting".

9-1-3 reads, "No player shall target and initiate contact against an opponent with the crown (top) of his helmet. When in question it is a foul."


9-1-4 reads, "No player shall target and initiate contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent with the helmet, forearm, fist, elbow or shoulder. When in question, it is a foul."

Notice both rules say, "No player shall target...", that word, TARGET was intentionally put in both rules for a reason. Without that wording, any contact with the crown and any contact to the head or neck area with the helmet, forearm, fist, elbow or shoulder would be a foul. In fact that aspect of the rule has been commonly misinterpreted in the past since intent has been overlooked both in how the rule has been taught and how it's been called. But Target is there to make this foul a two prong test in 9-1-3, and a three prong test in Rule 9-1-4:


9-1-3: Prong One: The player must "target".
Prong Two: He must use the crown of his helmet.


9-1-4: Prong One: The player must "target".
Prong Two: He must use his helmet, forearm, fist, elbow or shoulder. Prong Three: It must be against a defenseless opponent.


Let's break these down individually.

Let Others Know

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