What Is A Touchback In Football?

What Is A Touchback In Football?

During an NFL game, you might also see a player or a coach throw his arms up in the air, which is called celebrating. This is not a foul, but it is frowned upon by the referees of the NFL because it can distract other players and fans. To learn more about how many yards the team gets when they are “on the board”, keep reading!

What is a Touchback in Football?

In rugby union, similar to rugby league, the ball can be kicked downfield from the in-goal line, but it must be played dead on the ground or the receiving team can claim a lineout if it is not. The ball may not be returned over-the-head; if a player returns a kicking foot backwards to touch, the ball becomes dead and can be kicked again, or it can be returned by the opposition.


Possession or the act of gaining possession of the ball by a player or team.

A ball can go out of bounds and bounce on the sideline or the end line without going out of bounds first. If that occurs, the receiver can choose to push the ball into the end zone or catch the ball on an incomplete pass and attempt to return it.

How Many Yards is a Touchback?

The rule change from the NCAA to the NFL was the result of a lawsuit brought by the American Football Coaches Association over the matter. The change was made to protect the kicking team, which was previously getting the ball at the 20-yard line and running up a large score on the first drive of the game.

What Causes a Touchback in Football?

It is important to note that a touchback does not guarantee that the ball will necessarily be spotted on the field. The returner only has the time to return the ball if the opposing team is unable to legally challenge the ruling. The ball is not spotted until it passes over the line of scrimmage. Teams can choose to have the ball spotted once it has crossed the line, but it is not required. If there is no challenge, the officials are not required to spot the ball and it will continue to pass the line of scrimmage until the ball is actually spotted.

What NFL Plays Trigger the Touchback Rule?

The most common way to tell if a touchback occurred is by watching the ball carrier’s path. If he breaks the plane of the sideline, he is touching the ball back to the position where the kicker hit it.

For kickoff and free kicks, the ball must go completely over the goal line. If the ball goes through the goal line, it is considered a touchback. A receiver does not have to touch the ball in the end zone to get a touchback. For regular-season NFL kickoffs, a team receives four yards for a touchback on the kickoff after a score.

Punt plays can result in touchbacks if the ball bounces off the ground after landing inside the opposition’s end zone or if the ball goes out of bounds. In the latter case, if the ball is in a field goal range, the team can decide to attempt a field goal or opt to go for a touchdown.

If a defensive player causes the fumble, then a touchback will be forced to give the defense two points. If the offense causes the fumble, the play is a safety.

If the ball is dead after the 2-point conversion, the offense gets the ball and the game continues. If the ball is alive, the offense will have the opportunity to receive another point on the next play.

Kicking Scenarios that Negate a Touchback

A. The offense cannot touch the ball inside the end zone, but the defense may.
B. The offense cannot touch a kicking foot, but the defense may.
C. Touchdowns can be blocked when the offense has the ball and is running down the field with the ball.

Historically, football permitted offensive players on the kicking team to attempt to recover kickoffs and field punts beyond the opponent’s 20-yard line for a score. However, the National Football League amended these rules in an attempt to prevent dangerous collisions.

Conclusion: NFL Touchback

Because of the fact that the ball was muffed after a kickoff or punt, the opposing team can start the next scoring drive from their 25-yard line, provided that the ball is touched before the ball is put in play.

The NFL has a rule that states that if a player is in motion with a foot in the end zone, the player must have both feet completely clear of the end line in order to gain possession. This is called a touchback. If a team is in possession at the 1-yard line and the ball is kicked back, the clock is stopped and the ball is placed on the 2-yard line. If the ball is returned, the ball is placed on the 1-yard line of the kicking team.

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