What Is A Leverage Penalty In Football? – Four Verts Football

    Look, we get it, no matter how much football you watch, there will always be some rules that catch you off guard when watching a football game. That’s why we’ve written this article explaining exactly what a leverage penalty is in soccer.

    A leverage penalty is called against the defense when a player intentionally steps or jumps on a teammate to block a field goal or punt.

    Reading: What is a leverage call in football

    variations of this rule are used in the ncaa, high school football and the nfl

    These penalties are incredibly expensive because, along with the yardage penalty, they will give the offense an automatic first down.

    sentence breakdown

    This penalty is rarely called in football because players rarely break this rule.

    For this penalty to be called against a player, they will have to noticeably use a teammate’s body to have a better chance of blocking a field goal.

    The reason players rarely take this penalty is that it’s easily noticed and blatantly illegal. A player trying to block a field goal knows that getting on another player’s back to block a kick is not legal.

    Also, if a player successfully blocks the kick, all eyes will be on them. and if they have jumped from another player or are on top of him, it will be easily noticed.

    The rule itself exists for two reasons. first, the safety of the player, and second, to ensure a fair opportunity for the field goal kicker.

    player security

    Getting on another player’s back or jumping from another player will put you very high in the air. a player can get injured by falling or landing on another player and injuring them in the process.

    Any time a player is able to get significantly airborne they represent an increased risk of injury. and in today’s game, where health is an important factor, this type of game will not work.

    give the kicker a chance

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    Imagine for a second that this rule was removed entirely. this would mean that players could stack on top of each other on field goal attempts to block the kick.

    This wall of bodies would mean the kicker would have to arch the ball exceptionally high to get it over the line of potential field goal blockers.

    Of course, this is not the kind of football we are used to seeing. In order to keep punt and field goal blocks as they are, the leverage penalty has been put in place.

    result of a leverage penalty

    The result of a leverage penalty has to be the most devastating part of this rule. at all levels of football, a lever penalty has been found to fit into the category of unsportsmanlike conduct.

    This means that leverage carries a fifteen yard penalty and an automatic first down. this is especially difficult for the offending team, as these penalties almost only occur on fourth downs.

    as the opposing team is kicking or kicking the ball. possession is set to switch to the defending team on the next play.

    Once a leverage penalty occurs, the team will be fifteen yards closer to their end zone. and you will have a new set of drops.

    other uses of leverage in soccer

    In addition to this term being a sanction, there are also different uses for the term leverage in football.

    When covering a player’s leverage it refers to their advantage over the other player. if you have inside leverage, it means you are controlling the player from their inside shoulder.

    while outside leverage can mean you are on his outside shoulder and can force him in.

    Leverage is also a term used in locking. having good leverage refers to being in a position where you can move or control the movements of the opposing player.

    jump penalty vs leverage penalty

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    one confusing aspect of leverage penalties in football is that there is a very similar penalty in the ncaa called a jump penalty.

    as we said earlier in the article, this sanction can be called in the ncaa. this is exactly accurate as the difference between a leverage penalty and a jump penalty is slightly different.

    A leverage penalty occurs when a player uses his teammate to help him jump over the offensive line on field goals or extra points.

    On the other hand, a jumping penalty occurs when a player jumps over the offensive line in any way for a field goal or extra point.

    in the nfl, if a player running the kick jumps the lane without contacting anyone, it’s totally legal. As long as there are no teammates in contact and no offensive lineman is touched, the flag will not be thrown.

    in the ncaa, the jumping penalty does not allow players to jump the line under any circumstances.

    Even if the player is able to cleanly jump over the center and block the shot, a penalty will be assessed. a jump penalty carries the same result as a leverage penalty.

    Fifteen penalty yards will be enforced and the kicking team will receive an automatic first down.


    I hope you enjoyed our guide to understanding the leverage penalty in soccer. The goal behind the articles is to give fans an easy-to-read breakdown of soccer.

    If you have any questions about this rule at any level of football, feel free to let us know.

    If you want to learn more, check out our guide on the halo rule in soccer or whether or not you can deny all penalties in soccer.

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