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.
When Kickoffs Happen
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.
- Kickoffs must go at least 10 or more yards on the field
- The kicking team's restraining line is their own 35-yard line
- The receiving team's restraining line is placed 10 yards away from the kicking team's restraining line on the 45-yard line
- All players besides the kicker must be lined up five yards behind the restraining line
- At least four players must be on each side of the kicker
- The kicking team can only recover the ball when it has gone 10 or more yards or if a player on the receiving team touches it
Kickoff Out Of Bounds
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.
Restraining lines show where the kicking team and the receiving team have to be on a 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.