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Football Touchback

What is a touchback? A touchback happens on kicks that go out of bounds. Get ready to learn about touchbacks in football.


A touchback is a signal that the returner, a player on the special teams, can make just before catching the ball on a kickoff or punt. To signal a touchback, the returner will drop to the ground on one knee. He must be in his own end zone to signal a touchback. On touchbacks, the receiving team will start with the ball on the 20-yard line.

Football Touchback

PRO TIP: The returner will only signal a touchback by dropping on a knee in the end zone. This will allow his team to start with the ball on the 20-yard line.

Touchback Rules

A touchback can happen on a kickoff or punt without a signal from the returner. A touchback can happen:

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