Football Kickoff

What is a football kickoff? How does a kickoff work in football? Kickoffs happen at the start of a game, after a score, and at the start of overtime. Get ready to learn about football kickoffs.

Football Kickoffs

A kickoff in football is when the place kicker, a kicker on the special teams, kicks the ball to the opposing team. Kickoffs are performed behind restraining lines and must go ten or more (10+) yards to count or be touched by the receiving team.

Football Kickoffs

On a kickoff, the ball is placed on a tee. The place kicker will run towards the ball and kick it like a soccer ball. This powerful kick usually spans the entire distance of the field.

Kickoffs happen:

  • At the start of the game
  • At the start of the 2nd half
  • At the start of overtime
  • After a score

Football Return

A return always happens after a kickoff.

Football Return

Restraining Lines

Unlike punts, kickoffs do not happen on the line of scrimmage. Kickoffs happen behind restraining lines.

Football Restraining Line

Restraining lines show where the kicking team and the receiving team have to be on a kickoff.

Kicking Team

The kicking team is the team that has the ball and is performing the kickoff.

Receiving Team

The receiving team is the team that catches and returns the ball on a kickoff.

Kickoff Rules

Kickoff Out Of Bounds

If the kickoff goes out of bounds on the sidelines before reaching the end zones, the receiving team gets the ball on the 35-yard line.

Safety Kick

A safety kick is a kickoff that is performed only after a safety is scored. The restraining lines on a safety kick are different from a normal kickoff.

Football Safety Kick

Onside Kick

An onside kick is a kickoff that just meets that ten (10) yard requirement. The purpose of the onside kick is for the kicking team to recover the ball.

Football Onside Kick

Football Touchback

A touchback happens when the kickoff goes out of bounds behind the goal line.

Football Touchback

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