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Football Fullback Vs. Halfback

What is football fullback vs. halfback? Get ready to learn about fullback vs. halfback in football.

Football Fullback vs. Halfback

Types of Running Backs

In football, there are a few types of running backs including a halfback, fullback, and tailback. The difference between them is based on the following:

  • Positioning on the field
  • Role during a play design
  • Size and other physical attributes


The terms running back, halfback, tailback, and fullback are often interchanged in football terminology. Halfback, tailback, and fullback are all categories of running backs. The key is to recognize that a fullback generally serves as a blocker, while halfbacks or tailbacks serve as the principal ball-carriers.

A fullback protects the halfback or tailback and acts as a blocker. This player's job is to prevent the smaller halfback from being tackled by defensive players, so he will line up in front of the halfback for the snap. Fullbacks are generally bigger in size, stronger, and more physical than halfbacks.

The halfback's role is typically as the main ball-carrier for running plays. A tailback is simply a term for a halfback who is positioned differently at the start of the down. It is the halfback's job to receive handoffs or occasional passes from the quarterback and run the ball down field towards the opposing team's end zone. The halfback will be positioned behind both the quarterback and fullback. Halfbacks are generally smaller than fullbacks and are more quick and versatile on the field.

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