Why Is Tripping a Penalty in Football? (Full Explanation)

NFL players can use a variety of blocking and/or avoiding strategies to complete their primary objective on a play. Sometimes, players may believe that tripping their opponent is a simple way to stop them. Tripping, though, can cause serious injuries to players, which is something all football leagues wish to avoid. So why is tripping a penalty in football? Let’s find out.

What is a tripping penalty?

Before going into why is tripping a penalty in football, you should know what is tripping. The majority of spectators commenting about tripping appear to think it has been forbidden due to its harm. However, since it is permitted to make tackles that send opponents to the ground, the math doesn’t exactly add up.

It’s a matter of player safety. While a ball carrier or tackler can see the person he’s about to hit directly in front of him and adjust appropriately. It’s much harder to perceive a leg sticking out in your path because it’s right on the edge of your peripheral vision.

The likelihood that you will suffer an injury is substantially higher. It’s when you fly through the air and strike the ground and you are unable to brace or prepare for contact. It has been unacceptable in almost every sport because it is also a behavior that can harm the offender.

In the NFL, tripping is a rare offense. It typically only occurs when a player is blatantly and obviously flailing his leg to bring another player down while being terribly out of place.


Why do players trip other players?

Players typically commit tripping penalties as a final alternative before failing to fulfill their obligation throughout the play. For instance, an offensive lineman might stick out his foot to trip a player to stop them from breaking through the line of scrimmage. That’s if they are about to miss a blocking assignment or another defense is blitzing and ready to do so.

When they are being blocked and a running back is going to scurry past them with the ball, defenders will occasionally act in the same way. The defense can believe it is preferable to make efforts to stop them, even if doing so results in a penalty.

The result of a tripping penalty

The team that commits the foul will receive a 10-yard penalty when officials announce a tripping penalty. This is valid regardless of which side – offensive or defensive – commits the foul. The down will continue if the offender commits the penalty. The following down, for instance, would be 2nd and 17 if the penalty occurred on 2nd-and-7.

The offense will advance the ball 10 yards if the defense commits the penalty, giving the following play an automatic first down. Given the outcome of the infraction, some would argue that accepting a tripping penalty might be worthwhile.

After all, committing a 10-yard offensive penalty would be preferable to allowing a defender to break through the line and hit the quarterback hard. This might lead to a turnover.

Similarly, it could be preferable for a defender to trip a ball carrier, and incur a 10-yard penalty. The offense receives a first down as opposed to enabling the ball carrier to sprint away for a touchdown. If you solely consider the tripping penalty from that perspective, accepting the penalty is both an acceptable and wise move.

Why is tripping a penalty in football?

Answering why is tripping a penalty in football, since it’s extremely risky for both the player who gets tripped and the player who commits the offense. A player places his lower body in an extremely vulnerable posture as he extends his leg to trip another opponent.

The player who is committing the foul will extend his leg and make strong contact with the opponent’s lower body. The player can easily have his foot and ankle severely twisted or stepped on. Both players could also “knock knees,” which results in severe injuries that could potentially end careers.

The player who trips over is subject to the same rules. Although it might not appear bad, tripping can have effects akin to a chop block or other block below the waist.

The player is moving full-speed ahead in one direction when he is blindsided and his body is stopped in another. As they contact the ground in a hurry, much like a ball carrier, they could also get various upper-body injuries. The considerable risk of injury is what makes tripping a foul in football.

Tripping is generally never something football players should do even though it could appear like a smart idea. And that why is tripping a penalty in football has been listed above. To read more on the other penalties or positions in NFL football, follow the website footballterms.

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