A penalty called when an offense player grabs onto a defensive player in order to impede his progress or gain an advantage. Holding is called when the player does not use a proper open-handed blocking technique. The 10-yard penalty is assessed from the previous line of scrimmage, and the down is replayed.
Offensive holding is usually called on players either when they are blocking a run play or when they are in pass protection. Holding penalties are most common when a run blocker grabs a defender or drags one to the ground in order to open a hole for his running back, or when a pass blocker has to grab onto a defender to stop him from getting to the quarterback. Holding penalties can be very damaging to an offensive drive because the 10-yard penalty leaves the team in a long down and distance.