early 13c., "a clasping, an embracing," verbal noun from clip (v.2). As a U.S. football penalty (not in OED), from 1920.
Clipping or Cutting Down from Behind. — This is to be ruled under unnecessary roughness, and penalized when it is practiced upon "a man obviously out of the play." This "clipping" is a tendency in the game that the committee is watching anxiously and with some fear. [Collier's, April 10, 1920]
early 14c., "a cutting, act of shearing off," verbal noun from clip (v.1). Sense of "a small piece cut off" is from late 15c. Meaning "an article cut from a newspaper" is from 1857.