The majority of football fans are very proud of their in-depth understanding of the game and can quickly define a touchback. But, these same supporters would struggle greatly if you asked them to name every possible circumstance that could lead to a touchback. an an an a…………….
In football, what exactly is a touchback?
Football touchbacks usually occur when the ball lands or a fair catch is declared in the end zone during kickoffs. During a kickoff touchback, the receiving team receives the ball on their 25-yard line. The ball is advanced to the 20-yard line in all other circumstances.
Although the rule appears straightforward, we have only begun to explore it. We encourage you to read the rest of this post to find out more about how the rule differs between college and professional ball.
How Football Touchbacks Occur
In American football, there are numerous methods for a touchback to occur. But the regulations for college football are a little different. It’s important to note that the attacking team cannot receive a touchback because they must be the ones to carry the ball past the goal line. During kickoffs or punts, a touchback occurs most frequently. By kneeling in the end zone or by allowing the ball to cross the goal line, the receiving player can cause a touchback.
The team kicking the ball can recover it and score a touchdown if the player fielding the ball doesn’t hold onto it.
Note that the NFL changed the rules to eliminate the need for kneeling in the end zone, which I will discuss further below. In order to score a touchback in the NFL, a player must simply allow the ball to cross the goal line during a kickoff.
As a result, kick returners occasionally let the ball land and bounce toward the goal line of the receiving team. The idea behind this is to attempt to force a touchback so that you can begin the game inside your 25-yard line rather than much inside your own territory.
Though it frequently succeeds, doing so allows the kicking team time to advance and may force the receiving team deep into their half of the field.
A touchback will be called if a kicker from the kicking team makes contact with the ball when they are in the end zone. Even during attacking possessions, touchbacks can occur. These happen whenever the offensive team gives the defense the ball in the end zone.
NFL Touchback Regulations
All of the different sorts of touchbacks are broken down in great detail in the NFL rulebook. This is understandable given that the NFL, the richest and most renowned American football league in the world, is required to set the bar for how the sport should be played.
“The ball is dead on or behind the goal line a team is defending, provided that the momentum comes from an opponent and that it is not a touchdown or an incomplete pass,” according to the NFL’s definition of a touchback. The rules also include a breakdown of when touchbacks can be ruled as seen below. These situations are only possible if the offensive or kicking team successfully crossed the goal line with the ball. Touchbacks happen when:
- The opposing team has possession of the ball in its end zone, which is dead.
- In the area behind the goal line, the ball is off-limits.
- The receiving team has not touched the ball or taken a kick:
- Touches the ground near or behind the goal line of the receiver.
- Touches a kicker who is in contact with the ball on or behind the goal line of the receiver.
- Touches a kicker who has not re-established himself in play after touching the ground on or behind the receiver’s goal line.
- Any legal or illegal kick, other than one which scores a field goal, touches the receiver’s goalposts.
- If the kicker prevents the receiver from calling a fair catch or catching the ball while they are in their end zone.
- If a member of the team kicks catches or recovers a scrimmage kick outside of the field of play, carries the ball across the goal line, or touches the goal line with any part of his body while carrying the ball.
In the event of any of these events, a touchback is signaled. If a kickoff results in a touchback, the receiving team receives the ball on their own 25-yard line. If there is a touchback but not on a kickoff, the ball is advanced to their 20-yard line.
Football Touchback Regulations in College
With one apparent exception—the fair catch rule that was implemented recently in the 2018–2019 season—the touchback regulations for college football are essentially the same as those for the NFL.
This new regulation states that any fair catch on a kickoff or free-kick made between the goal line of the receiving team and the 25-yard line results in a touchback. The play is deemed a touchback and the ball is returned to the team’s 25-yard line, for instance, if a team called a fair catch on their 20-yard line.
The kickoff is the most dangerous play in football, hence this rule was implemented for the protection of the players.
As a result of the fair catch rule, more kickoffs would end in touchbacks. Injury risk decreases as the number of touchbacks and returns increases.
Touchback in Football FAQs
1) What Is the Football Goal Line?
The goal line in football is a white line that marks the entrance to the end zone. On a kickoff, a touchback is declared for any ball that touches or veers off the goal line’s plane. The same is true for touchdowns; a touchdown can be declared even if the ball does not completely enter the end zone.
2) What Is the Football Field of Play Called?
The gridiron is another name for the playing field in American football, which is most commonly referred to as the ‘field’. Its nickname dates back to the early years of football when fields were marked in a grid or checkerboard pattern.
3) What Exactly Is a Football Field Goal?
A field goal is a place kick that, when made correctly, scores three points. On fourth down and while the offensive team is on the opponent’s side of the field, field goals are virtually always attempted. When a team is in field goal range, they virtually always choose to kick the ball rather than punt it away.
4) What Do Football Special Teams Do?
All of the athletes who participate in kickoff plays are considered special teams. The following is a list of the most common questions we get from our customers. Special teams are frequently ignored, but they are very important to who wins and loses in football games.