A kickoff in football is when the place kicker, a kicker on the special teams, kicks the ball to the opposing team. Kickoffs are performed behind restraining lines and must go 10 or more yards to count or be touched by the receiving team.
The football kickoff returner is often played by a shorter and quicker player. He is responsible for catching the kickoff and running the entirety of the football field, or as much as possible, to score a touchdown. When a player catches a punt, it is also called fielding a punt.
It can be challenging for a kickoff returner to keep his eye on the ball and avoid any defensive team members. The sun can also affect the kickoff returner's success of catching the ball.
Unlike punts, kickoffs do not happen on the line of scrimmage. Kickoffs happen behind restraining lines.
Restraining lines show where the kicking team and the receiving team have to be on a kickoff.
The kicking team is the team that has the ball and is performing the kickoff.
The receiving team is the team that catches and returns the ball on a kickoff.
A safety kick is a kickoff that is performed only after a safety is scored. The restraining lines on a safety kick are different from a normal kickoff.
An onside kick is a kickoff that just meets that 10 yard requirement. The purpose of the onside kick is for the kicking team to recover the ball.