Who Catches The Ball In Football?

Who catches the ball in football

In football, there are several different positions that are able to catch the ball. Some catch it more than others. This piece will break down the positions that catch the football!

Wide Receiver

football Wide Receiver

The wide receiver in football is the main position that catches the football. Their principal responsibility is to catch the ball from the quarterback, advance it down the field, and score touchdowns. There are usually at least two wide receivers on the field during each offensive play, and they run a pass pattern trying to get open. Receivers typically get the most catches out of all the positions. 

Tight End

football Tight End

Along with the wide receiver, the tight end is a designated pass-catcher on the football team, meaning that is their main objective. Tight ends line up right next to the offensive line and, while sometimes used as blockers, are also on the field to catch passes.

Running Back

football Running Backs

The running back can also catch passes, but usually as a “last resort” check down option. They sometimes leak out of the backfield to catch a screen or short pass to help their quarterback get rid of the ball. 

In recent years, running backs have adapted to become better pass catchers, and have been given more of a responsibility in the passing game. They can run routes just like receivers and create mismatches with defenders due to their elusiveness and speed.


football Quarterbacks

The quarterback is also an eligible receiver on the team. Players in the backfield or lined up equal to the line of scrimmage are eligible receivers, but offensive linemen are considered ineligible.

Quarterbacks catch the ball either in a trick play or off of a tip. If the quarterback throws it and the defensive line bats it back, the quarterback can catch it and run with it. They are then credited with a pass completion and a reception. Trick plays sometimes have the running back take the snap or involve a lateral pass, but in either situation, the ball can end up back in the quarterback’s hands after a pass.

Defensive Back

football Defensive Back

Defenders are never the intended receivers on a play; however, they sometimes end up catching the ball. In the event the quarterback throws an inaccurate pass, the defender is allowed to catch it, in what is known as an interception.  


The punt and kickoff returners must catch the ball once it is kicked. Both positions catch the kickoff or punt and then try to return it for a touchdown


Who throws the ball in football?

In the majority of passing plays, the quarterback throws the ball in football. The quarterback is the leader of the offense, and they decide which play to call. If the quarterback calls a passing play, they will typically throw the ball to a wide receiver, tight end, or running back. In certain trick plays, the running back or wide receiver will throw the ball, after taking a handoff or lateral pass from the quarterback or receiving a snap from the center.

Who runs the ball in football?

Running backs typically run the ball in football, but sometimes quarterbacks choose to run the ball themselves rather than hand it off to a back. Plays designed for the quarterback to run with the ball include QB counter and QB power. After making a reception, a wide receiver or tight end will run the ball in an attempt to reach the end zone. Returners also run the ball after catching a kick.

What are eligible and ineligible receivers in football?

In football, certain players on the offensive are considered to be “eligible” and “ineligible” receivers. Eligible receivers are players who can receive a pass during a given play, while ineligible receivers cannot receive a pass. On an offensive line, players who stand at either end of the formation or in the backfield are eligible receivers, while offensive linemen are ineligible receivers. However, offensive linemen can be named eligible receivers if they announce it to the officials and position themselves properly before a play begins. Every player on the defense is considered an eligible receiver, regardless of position.