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Football Change Of Possession

What is a Change of Possession in Football?

A change of possession in football is when possession of the football is switched from one team to the other. A change of possession can occur in five different ways: turnovers, missed field goals, punts, kickoffs, and the coin toss.


Turnovers are obvious, a fumble, interception, and turnover on downs all result in one team losing the football and possession being turned over to the opposing team (assuming the team that fumbled does not recover the fumble). A missed field goal results in the opposing team receiving the ball at the spot of the kick. Punts and kickoffs are simply giving the ball to the other team, which is a change of possession. The coin toss at the beginning of the game determines who has possession of the ball first.

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