- At the beginning of a game
- At the beginning of the 2nd half
- After any team scores points
- At the start of overtime
- The kicking team's restraining line is their own 35-yd line
- The receiving team's restraining line is placed 10 yards away
- All players besides the kicker must be lined up 5 yards from the restraining lines
- At least four (4) players must be on each side of the kicker on the kicking team
- A legal kickoff must travel at least 10 yards or be touched by a member of the receiving team
- Players on the kicking team can only recover the ball once it has either traveled to the receiving team's restraining lines (10 yards) or if a player on the receiving team touches it first
Onside Kick Strategy
The kicker will perform a kick that just meets in the minimum requirements of a kickoff, making it travel 10 yards. The kicker will attempt to make the kick difficult to catch, so that it gives players on the kicking team a chance to recover it.
A safety kick is just like a regular kickoff, except that it happens only after a safety is scored. On safety kicks the restraining line for the receiving team is placed 20 yards away from the 35-yard line instead of 10 yards away.
PRO TIP: Not many people know about safety kicks. They just assume that a regular kickoff is performed after a safety is scored. It may look just like a regular kickoff, but the restraining lines are different!