ab-320x50
ap-300x600
ab-300x600
am-300x600
HomeMore Sports

Football

American Football101ArticlesBowl GamesCoachingCollege FootballDefensive AlignmentsDrillsEquipmentFlag FootballGlossaryFootball 1st HalfFootball 25-Second Play ClockFootball 2nd HalfFootball 40-Second Play ClockFootball Against The WindFootball AnnouncerFootball AudibleFootball Away TeamFootball Ball CarrierFootball Change Of PossessionFootball Choosing WindFootball Coffin CornerFootball CompletionFootball DeferFootball DeflectionFootball Down And DistanceFootball Down By ContactFootball Fair CatchFootball Forced FumbleFootball FumbleFootball GainFootball GapsFootball Glossary Of Terms And DefinitionsFootball Halftime ShowFootball Halftime SpeechFootball HandoffFootball Hidden Ball TrickFootball HikeFootball HoleFootball Home Field AdvantageFootball Home TeamFootball Instant ReplayFootball InterceptionsFootball Kicking TeamFootball LingoFootball Live ActionFootball Long SnapFootball Losing TeamFootball LossFootball Loss Of DownFootball Loss Of YardsFootball Muffed BallFootball Neutral ZoneFootball No GainFootball Open EndFootball PatFootball PeriodFootball Pick SixFootball PigskinFootball Piling OnFootball PocketFootball QuarterFootball ReceptionFootball RegulationFootball RushingFootball SackFootball SnapFootball Strong SideFootball TakeawayFootball The Kick Is GoodFootball TouchbackFootball Touchdown DanceFootball Touchdown ReturnFootball Visiting TeamFootball Weak SideFootball Winning TeamFootball With The WindHow ToKick TypesLeaguesNFL FootballNFL TeamsOffensive FormationsOfficialsPass TypesPenaltiesPlayersPlaysPositionsQuestionsRulesScrimmage DownsSkills And TechniquesStatisticsStrategyTeam StaffThe FieldTrophies
  1. Home
  2. American Football
  3. Football Down And Distance

Football Down And Distance

Table of Contents

am-300x600

Football Down and Distance

Down and distance in football describes the current scrimmage down and how the offense needs to go to reach the first down line.

When the offense reaches the first down line they get a new set of four downs. The order of downs goes:

apst-300x250.jpg

1st and 10

Announcers describe down and distance with numbers like 1st and 10.

The first number is the current down. The second number is the distance to the first down line.

ap-300x250.png

4th and Goal

4th and goal is like 1st and 10, but the distance to the first down line is replaced with the goal line. This happens when the offense reaches ten yards or closer to the end zone.

Football 4th and Goal

You may also hear the phrase replaced with the word goal like 4th & goal.

ap-300x250.png

1st Down

The offense gets a first down when they reach the first down line.

Football 1st Down

The first down line is placed ten yards away from the new line of scrimmage. If a team is within ten yards of the end zone, the goal line becomes the first down line.

am-300x250.jpg

Turnover on Downs

A turnover on downs happens when the offense fails to reach or go beyond the first down line in four downs. The other team will get possession of the ball.

Football Turnover on Downs
aa-300x250.png

4th Down Strategy

To avoid a turnover on downs, teams will go for a field goal or punt on 4th down. With a field goal, the team can get points. With a punt, a team can maintain strong field position.

apst-300x250.jpg

  • aa-300x250.png
  • apv-300x250