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Football Special Teams

What are the special teams? How many players are on the special teams? What are the positions of the special teams? Get ready to learn all about the special teams in football.

Special Teams

The special teams, or ST for short, is called onto the field when a team performs any kick or return in football.


Usually, when one team's special teams is called onto the field, the other team will bring their special teams onto the field as well.

Special Teams Positions

A football special teams has the following positions:

Kickers are also called placekickers. These are the players responsible for field goals and extra points. They kick the football off the ground in order to earn more points for their team. Although this player might not be involved in much of the game, he can make or break the result of a game.

Holders are the players that receive the ball and hold it on the ground for kickers to kick. If they fumble with the ball, it could result in a missed field goal or the kicker completely missing the ball altogether.

Punt returners are responsible for dropping the ball and kicking it very far to the other end of the field. This happens when the offensive team wishes to switch possession and give it to the other team instead of trying for fourth down.

A gunner is someone who "guns" down the field to try to tackle the returner. They are usually positioned on the sidelines, and are especially fast runners.

The snapper is the player who "snaps" the ball to the holder during extra points or field goal kicks. He must have extreme accuracy and precision.

Football Special Teams Goals

The goals of the special teams are:

Without a good special teams, a football team will struggle to earn points through kicking opportunities like field goals and extra points or prevent turnovers with punts.

Special Teams

Players on the special teams will perform:

Field Position

Field position describes the location of the ball on the field relative to the end zones. The special teams maintains good field position by always keeping the ball away from a team's own end zone.


Football Terms

Here are some glossary terms related to the special teams:

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