Pass-related interference can affect the outcome of any football match. It’s a regular penalty, which is usually used at the high school, college and professional football games. What exactly is pass interference and why is it a crucial penalty?

Pass interference is when a defensive player prevents an offensive player from getting the football. The law states that the defensive player cannot engage with the offensive player while the ball is in the air. If the defensive player makes contact so, it’s deemed pass interference.

This article will cover everything you require about pass interference.

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Interference with defensive passes

The speed of any football game can be significantly affected through defensive pass interference decisions. The rule was introduced in the days when forward passes were permitted.

The pass interference rule was introduced to allow the player who is trying to catch the football the ability to catch it with no defense defender interfering.

Referees may throw flags for pass interference for many reasons.

Pass interference happens when two people are trying to catch the ball, but one is excessively aggressive. This can lead to the official throwing the penalt

But the defensive player is entitled to the same rights in relation to the football as the offensive player. This means that the defensive player who is focused on the ball and is placed to catch the ball they can try to catch it or knock it away.

The penalty flag is usually used when a defensive player fails to position themselves to play football in the air. Instead they are in too excessive contact with the wide receiver which causes a penalty flag.

Penalty For Pass Interference

If the official from football determines that a player on defense has made too much contact to the wide receiver they will throw the flag and will not attempt to catch the ball.

Based on the level played at, the penalty flag will differ. There are different penalties for each football league.

  • High School: 15 Yard Penalty From The Line Of Scrimmage
  • College 15 Yard Penalty at the Line of Scrimmage and an Automatic First Down
  • Professional Automatic First Down, and the Ball Is Located Where the Penalty Was Inflicted

As you can see, pass interference is punished at the professional level with more severity than at the college and high school levels.

High school pass interference may not always mean a first down. NFHS Rules state that when an offense has three or more yards and a pass interference occurs in the following play, the team must continue the play.

It’s better to do it in the college. A penalty flag will be thrown for 15 yards by the referee and the offense will automatically get an initial down.

Professional level (like the NFL) have the most punishing pass interference rules. These rules require that the ball be instantly relocated to the area where pass interference occurred in the event of a penalty flag being placed. The offense also receives the benefit of an automatic first down.

This decision has several implications for teams that were trying to get the ball down the field in games that ended late.

The issue of pass interference is constantly argued by players, fans and coaches.

Offensive Pass Interference

While the defense is commonly penalized for pass interference, there is an offense-based penalty for pass interference too.

Visit this link for a amazing image of offensive pass interference.

When the ball is in the air, and the offensive player has excessive contact with the defense player trying to catch the ball, they might be penalized for offensive pass interference.

The consequence of offensive pass interference is the offense is penalized 15 yards.

If the penalty occurred on a play that was 2nd or 10 it will be 2nd or 25. This is only applicable if the defense (highschool or college) agrees to the penalty.

Although it’s a rare offense, it does happen. Pass interference is usually all up to the referee’s discretion. Some referees may not throw an flag, but others could. It all depends on the interpretation of the referee’s pass interference.

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