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Football Field Goal Range

Football games are often won with field goals. But, a team will only attempt a field goal if they are within field goal range. What is field goal range? Get ready to learn about being in range in football.

Football Field Goal Range

Field goal range describes how far a football team's kicker can kick. If a team is within field goal range, they are close enough to the opposing team's goal post to make a field goal based on the kicker's ability. Field goal range is based on numerous statistics on how kickers have performed in the past.

REMEMBER: Field goals are worth three points and can be attempted from anywhere on the football field and on any scrimmage down.

Calculating Field Goal Range

To calculate if a team is within field goal range follow these steps:

  1. Locate the line of scrimmage.
  2. Add 17 yards to that yard line.
  3. Determine if the kicker can make a kick from that distance.


In the example above, if a team is on the 40 yard line, they are 57 yards from the goal post.

The end zone is ten yards long and the goal post is located on the end lines at the back of the end zone.

The holder, a player on the special teams who holds the ball for the kicker positions himself seven yards behind the line of scrimmage. He does this so the defense will not be able to block the kick.

10 + 7 = 17

That's why we add 17 yards to the line of scrimmage when calculating field goal range.

NFL Field Goal Range

In the NFL, typical field goal range is around 52 yards. To be within field goal range, a team should be on the opposing team's 35-yard line before attempting a field goal for the highest chance of success, since 35+17=52.

REMEMBER: It is not impossible to make a field goal outside of field goal range. It's just unlikely. It has been done before. That's the beauty of sports, anything can happen. But, like all sports, football is a game of percentages.

Kicking Outside of Field Goal Range

Why would a team want to try a field goal if they are out of range? Certain situations call for a kicker to have to exceed expectations. For example, if there are only a few seconds left in the first half or in the game, the team should kick as long as they believe the place kicker has a chance at hitting the field goal. The longest ever field goal was kicked by Matt Prater, and was 64 yards. If a team is within 70 yards and the half is about to be over, they will likely try to kick a field goal as they have little to lose.

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