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Football Onside Kick

What is an Onside Kick in Football?

In Football, an onside kick is a type of kickoff in which the kicking team attempts to recover the football after kicking the ball. For the kicking team to recover the ball, the ball must travel at least ten yards from the spot of the kick before the kicking team is allowed to touch the ball. If the kicking team touches the ball before it travels ten yards, it is a penalty and the receiving team is awarded possession of the football.

The onside kick is used as a desperation tactic, usually by a team that is trailing in a game with very little time left. The chance of success of an onside kick is very low, but increases if the receiving team is not expecting it. Teams employ one of two strategies when performing an onside kick: kicking the ball low and kicking the ball high. By kicking the ball low, the kicking team hopes the ball bounces off the ground and high enough into the air to create a jump ball for both the teams. By kicking the ball high, the kicking team hopes the create the same scenario, though accurately kicking the ball high into the air is difficult. If the ball goes out of bounds during the kick, the receiving team is awarded possession.

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