Football Placekicking

What is Place Kicking in Football?

Place kicking in football is a type of kick in which the ball is snapped to a holder and held on the ground for the kicker to kick. Place kicking was not the most common way of kicking field goals originally, but the modification of the football that made it less round in order to accommodate for downfield passing also hindered players' ability to drop kick the ball effectively.

Before the "soccer style" of kicking was brought to the NFL, place kickers would toe the ball through the uprights. They would stand directly behind the ball and use a specialized shoe to kick hard. In comparison to modern kicking, this format is lackluster and generates significantly less power and accuracy. Pete Gogolak is credited with bringing soccer techniques into the league, opting for an angled approach to the ball and the ball being hit by the kicker's laces.

Kickoffs are a form of place kicking, as the ball is held on a tee while a team's kickoff specialist boots it as far as he can.

It is not directly stated that place kickers must wear shoes, and some players throughout history have had success attempting kicks barefoot. However, this is not recommended nor widely practiced.


  • Adam Vinatieri is the place kicker with the most field goals in NFL history with 582.
  • Matt Prater has the longest made field goal at 64 yards.
  • Justin Tucker is the most accurate place kicker ever at 90.1%