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Football Return

What is a return in football? A return in football is when a returner catches the ball and runs it up the field to determine the line of scrimmage. Get ready to learn about football returns.

Football Return

A return in football is when a returner, a player on the special teams, catches the ball from a kickoff or punt and runs with it on the field towards the opposing team's end zone.

Football Return

The purpose of a return is to establish the line of scrimmage on the upcoming offensive drive.


A returner is a member of the receiving team and a player on the special teams. His role during a return is to catch the kick and run with it on the field.

Football Returners

Returners can be specialized as a:

REMEMBER: Returns only happen on kickoffs and punts.

Fair Catch

A fair catch is a signal that the returner can make by waving an arm in the air. By making a fair catch, the returner asks not to be hindered when catching the ball.

Football Fair Catch


A touchback is when a kick goes out of bounds behind the goal line. Touchbacks can also be signaled by the returner. The returner can drop on one knee in the end zone when catching a kickoff or punt. In either case, the ball is placed on the 20-yard line.

Football Touchback

The Kicking Team

The kicking team in football is the team that kicks the ball on a kickoff, punt, field goal, or any type of kick.

The Receiving Team

The receiving team in football is the team that catches the ball and performs the return on kickoffs and punts.

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