Professional American Football Kickoff rule concerning onside kick


Ein Kickoff, eine Art des Free Kicks, ist ein besonderer Spielzug im American Football. Dabei wird der Ball zu Beginn jeder...

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American football - rules


American football is played between two teams of 11 players each, with an oval (specifically prolate spheroid) ball. The basic format of the game involves two teams, one of which is in possession of the ball. The team in possession of the ball, termed the offense, tries to advance the ball towards the end zone, the scoring area at either end of the field. The other team, termed the defense, tries to stop the offense and prevent them from advancing the ball. A game begins with a kickoff; the kicking and receiving teams are determined by a pre-game coin toss. The kickoff occurs as a player on the kicking team (the placekicker) kicks the ball from a tee. The receiving team then catches the ball and runs towards the opposing end zone until they are tackled or step out of bounds, at which point the ball is considered dead. The point where the ball becomes dead is defined as the first line of scrimmage, and play begins from that...

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Quick Tip!
Coaches advise that keeping the ankle locked tight while kicking the top...

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Learn more about Kickoff (American football)

A kick-off is a method of starting or restarting play in American football.

A kick-off occurs at the start of each half and before each overtime. It is also traditionally decided by a coin toss at the beginning of each game carried out by the referee. The visiting team captain calls either head or tails. If he is right, he gets to choose whether to receive the ball or to kick-off. If an overtime is required, another coin toss takes place to decide who gets first possession during the overtime. After a touchdown or field goal, there is also a kick-off with the team being scored against receiving. There is a special "free kick" after a safety.

[edit] Procedure

The ball is to be placed between the kicking team's goal line and their own 30-yard line (35-yard line in Canadian football and in college football). All players on the kicking team must not cross the line at which the ball is placed until the ball...

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Onside kick (sometimes onsides kick) is a term used in American and Canadian football for a type of kickoff in which the ball is kicked a shorter distance than usual in order for the kicking team to regain possession of the ball. Other benefits of kicking may be sacrificed to that end in an onside kick. You may not be able to kick it on a punt. Diagram of a Canadian football field. ... The 2007 Penn State Nittany Lions football team kicks the ball off after scoring a touchdown in their season opening game A kickoff is a method of starting or restarting play in American football. ...

Origin of the term

American football and Canadian football originate in rugby union, and so does the onside kick. In rugby, while the forward pass is prohibited, the ball may be advanced by the team in possession on a kick, provided that the receiver of the kick was onside when the kick was made (i.e., level with or behind the kicker.) For other uses, see Rugby...

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Let me quote from the rule you have cited. Rule 10, Section 2, Article 1 of the NFL Rules:

A Fair Catch is an unhindered catch of an airborne scrimmage kick that has crossed the line of scrimmage, or of an airborne free kick, by a player of the receiving team who has given a valid fair catch signal.

The key word is "airborne". Once the kick has bounced, it is no longer considered airborne. If the onside attempt is a "pooch" (short high kick), then even if no one signals for a fair catch the kicking team would be penalized if they interfered. By Section 1, Article 1, item 2:

A receiver who is moving toward a kicked ball that is in flight has the right of way. If opponents obstruct his path to the ball, or cause a passive player of either team to obstruct his path, it is interference [...]

Again, note the qualification "in flight".

This is why most onside kickers attempt to either roll the ball along the ground or kick it down hard so that it...

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Penn State lined up for an onside kick.

In gridiron football, an onside kick is a kickoff deliberately kicked short. In most kickoffs, the kicking team concedes possession of the ball and tries to kick it as far as possible from its own goal. In an onside kick, the kicking team kicks short in hopes of regaining possession of the ball before the receiving team can control it.

The onside kick is a low-percentage play, generally only seen late in a game when the kicking team is trailing in the score and must retain possession of the ball in order to score before time expires. However, its chances of success increase in a situation where the returning team does not expect it.

Origin of the term and use in Canadian football[edit]

Gridiron football originates in rugby football, and so does the onside kick. In rugby, while the forward pass is prohibited, a team in possession may legally kick the ball downfield and recapture possession, provided that the...

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A kickoff is a method of starting a drive in American football and Canadian football. Typically, a kickoff consists of one team – the "kicking team" – kicking the ball to the opposing team – the "receiving team". The receiving team is then entitled to return the ball, i.e., attempt to advance it towards the kicking team's end zone, until the player with the ball is tackled by the kicking team, goes out of bounds, or scores a touchdown. Kickoffs take place at the start of each half of play, the beginning of overtime in some overtime formats, and after some scoring plays.

Common variants on the typical kickoff format include the onside kick, in which the kicking team attempts to regain possession of the ball; a touchback, which may occur if the ball is kicked into the receiving team's end zone; or a fair catch, in which a player on the receiving team asks to catch the ball without interference from the kicking team, waiving his entitlement to attempt a return rush....

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As others have stated, pretty much the only rule is that the ball must go 10 yards before the kicking team can touch it.

You do not have to announce your intention, it's possible on ANY kick off, it's only usually kicked shorter to make it easier to recover.

Based on the added details it looks like you're confusing a Kick-off with a punt.

A kick-off is how you initiate play after a score (only touchdowns and field goals, not safeties) or at the beginning of the game and after half time. This it the ONLY time an onside kick is possible. A kick off is usually done as a place kick, where the ball is set on a tee or has someone holding the ball upright.

A punt is a play that a team does to concede possession of the ball to the other team in exchange for field position. It usually happens on 4th down, since that's the last opportunity for the team to get a first down. Rather than give up the ball in position, they kick the ball, trying to pin the other team...

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NFL Rules Digest: Kickoff

Digest of Rules Main


In addition to a kickoff, the other free kick is a kick after a safety (safety kick). A punt may be used (a punt may not be used on a kickoff). On a safety kick, the team scored upon puts ball in play by a punt, dropkick, or placekick without tee. No score can be made on a free kick following a safety, even if a series of penalties places team in position. (A field goal can be scored only on a play from scrimmage or a free kick after a fair catch.) A kickoff may not score a field goal. A kickoff is illegal unless it travels 10 yards OR is touched by the receiving team. Once the ball is touched by the receiving team or has gone 10 yards, it is a free ball. Receivers may recover and advance. Kicking team may recover but NOT advance UNLESS receiver had possession and lost the ball. When a kickoff goes out of bounds between the goal lines without being touched by the...
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This is a common occurrence, especially in the NFL now that kickoffs have moved to the 35 yard line. But it does not result in points.

From the NFL rules (rule 3, section 10):

A Field Goal is made by kicking the ball from the field of play through the plane of the opponents' goal by a drop kick or a placekick either:
(a) From behind the line on a play from scrimmage; or
(b) During a fair catch kick. See 11-4-3; 3-9; and 10-2-4-a.

A kickoff is neither a play from scrimmage nor a fair catch kick (a fair catch kick can occur only immediately following a kick that was fair-caught). Therefore, kicking the ball through the uprights results merely in a touchback, just like kicking the ball out of any other part of the end zone...

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A kickoff in football takes place at the start of each half, as well as after every touchdown and field goal. The normal routine on a kickoff is a two-step procedure:

The kicking team kicks the ball, usually as far as possible. The receiving team catches the ball and tries to advance it up the field before the kicking team tackles the ball carrier.

That is a basic — but accurate — depiction of what most kickoffs look like. However, there is another type of kickoff that’s occasionally used when the kicking team wants to retain possession of the ball: The Onside Kick. This guide explains how the onside kick works, as well as the rules that structure this unique kickoff.

The Onside Kick

In the National Football League (NFL), approximately 15% of all attempted onside kicks are recovered by the kicking team.

The purpose of using an onside kick is simple: To maintain possession of the ball and prevent the other team from scoring. However, like many...

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Game play in American football consists of a series of downs, individual plays of short duration, outside of which the ball is dead or not in play. These can be plays from scrimmage – passes, runs, punts, or field goal attempts (from either a place kick or a drop kick) – or free kicks such as kickoffs and fair catch kicks. Substitutions can be made between downs, which allows for a great deal of specialization as coaches choose the players best suited for each particular situation. During a play, each team should have no more than 11 players on the field, and each of them has specific tasks assigned for that specific play.

Objective of the game[edit]

The objective of this game is to score more points than the other team during the allotted time.[1] The team with the ball (the offense) has 4 plays (downs) to advance at least 10 yards, and can score points once they reach the opposite end of the field, which is home to a scoring zone called the end zone, as well as...

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In American and Canadian football, an onside kick is one in which the ball is kicked so as to avoid giving it to the other team.

Origin of the term and use in Canadian footballEdit

American football and Canadian football originate in rugby football, and so does the onside kick. In rugby, while the forward pass is prohibited, a team in possession may legally kick the ball downfield and recapture possession, provided that the receiver of the kick was onside when the kick was made (i.e., level with or behind the kicker.)

This form of onside kick is still legal in Canadian football, just as in rugby. A player of the kicking team (at any kick, not just a free kick) who is "onside" may recover the ball and retain possession for his team. This includes the kicker himself and anyone else behind the ball at the time it was kicked, other than the holder for a place kick. The form of onside kick available at a free kick in American football (see below) is also...

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