Returning in football is the act of the returner, a player on the special teams, catching a kickoff or punt and running with the ball towards the opposing team's end zone.
Returns happen only on kickoffs and punts in football. The returner, a player on the special teams, performs the return.
The purpose of the return is to establish starting field position for the upcoming offensive drive.
The kicking team is the team that has the ball and is performing the kickoff or punt.
The receiving team is the team that catches the ball kicked by the kicking team and performs the return. The returner is a member of the receiving team. Returners can be highly specialized as punt returners or kickoff returners.
Here are some glossary terms related to returning in football: