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  3. What Does A Field Goal Mean In Football?

What Does A Field Goal Mean In Football?

In football, a field goal is successful kick of the ball by a kicker through the goal post.

The goal post is located on the end lines at the back of the end zones and consists of a crossbar and two uprights. The ball must travel above the crossbar and through the uprights to be considered good.

Why are There Field Goals in American Football?

Field goals are defined in the rulebook for the sport of football. It was put into the game to allow for other ways to score points from a distance unlike touchdowns. It also makes the game more exciting, since field goals can be attempted from anywhere on the field and on any down. Football games are often won with field goals.


Field goals give teams the chance to score even when the odds are stacked against them. Teams usually elect to kick field goals on 4th down to prevent a turnover on downs and if they feel they are within field goal range. Field goals are also chosen if there is little time left on the game clock in the 4th quarter.

Overall, we believe field goals are in the sport to make it more exciting and to give teams an array of options to score points even when the odds are stacked against them.

How Many Points is a Field Goal?

A field goal is worth three points if kicked successfully. If the kick misses, then a team earns zero points.

Why Does a Team Kick a Field Goal?

If a team is close to having a turnover on downs or if the game clock is winding down, a team may choose to kick a field goal. Typically, field goals are kicked instead of a fourth down, or toward the end of the half or the game.

Who Kicks a Field Goal?

A member of the special team, the place kicker, has the primary role of kicking the ball. Place kickers specialize in field goals.

Who Else is Involved in Field Goals?

The holder and long snapper also play big roles on field goals. The long snapper is a special center that snaps the ball a long distance. The holder catches and positions the football for the placekicker. The holder is often the backup quarterback.

Why are Field Goals Important?

Field goals can be the deciding factor between a win and a loss. They can be easy or challenging points to achieve, but when executed correctly, can be the difference between a win when the game clock is close to 0:00. A lot of pressure can fall on the place kicker.

Field Goal Range

A team will only kick a field goal if they have a high chance at scoring. A team should determine if they are in field goal range.

Field goal range is a statistic measured across all kickers based on the likelihood of making a field goal from a certain distance. To calculate field goal range, take the yard line where the ball is on and add 17 yards. The reason 17 yards are added is that the goal posts are located at the back of the end zones (10 yards long) and a kicker stands seven yards behind the line of scrimmage on a field goal.

Learn More

If you want to learn more about field goals and field position football, check out the following tutorials:

  • Football Field Goal
  • Football Field Goal Range
  • Football Special Teams
  • Football Field Position
  • Football Kicker