During one NFL game, you can see one team kick the ball during a kickoff the lands in the end zone. The play is over, and both teams (offense and defense) resume play further up the field. You could wonder why the return team allow the round bounce in the finish zone and why the play to be over. This call is recognized as a touchback in football. Learn much more about this ruling, how numerous yards a team gets, and an ext below!

What is a Touchback in Football?

A touchback happens when referees dominion a pat dead top top a absent after the round leaves the field through the defensive team’s end zone in American football. Together a result, once play resumes, the team start their attack drive from your 25-yard line. There are no clues awarded because that a touchback.

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A touchback can also occur if a player records a kick in the end zone and also chooses no to return the ball. If the recipient refuses come return the record by running, they have to go top top one knee. Gaining on one knee signal to the refs that you are opting for a touchback.

How plenty of Yards is a Touchback?

When a team obtain a touchback, the sphere is inserted at the 25-yard line to begin the following drive. Historically, soccer teams got the ball at their 20-yard line. However, in 2012, the NCAA embraced a rule change that relocated the touchback beginning position 5 yards. The NFL adopted the university football preeminence for touchbacks 6 years later, in 2018.

What reasons a Touchback in Football?

A touchback is the automatic begin of an offensive drive in ~ the 25-yard heat after the sphere leaves the field through a team’s end zone ~ above the ahead play. Functionally, a touchback occurs since there’s no means to spot a ball that has either left the ar of play through the end zone. Generally, special groups units room most often responsible for touchbacks, as they typically occur during kicking plays. However, there room a few other scenarios where touchbacks arise to start the next offensive drive.

What NFL Plays cause the Touchback Rule?


Most people recognize a touchback during kicking plays, such as kickoffs and punts. These distinct teams’ plays try to obtain the round as deep as possible to prolong the following scoring drive and also reduce an opponent’s opportunity of scoring.

During a kickoff or free-kick, a sphere is becomes a touchback if it touch the ground in the the contrary team’s finish zone. If the football rolls out of the back-end ar or touch the ar goal post, that is a touchback. Finally, the receiving team’s returner have the right to wave a same catch and also down the round in the finish zone to create a touchback.

Unlike kickoffs, punting theatre always result in a touchback if the ball touches the floor in the finish zone. Touchbacks can also occur if the offensive team fumbles the ball in their own end zone and goes the end of bounds.

If a defensive player reasons the fumble, this outcomes in a touchback for the defense. If the offense reasons the fumble, the play is a safety, offering the defense 2 points. A fumble can force a touchback if the violation fumbles it forward and also rolls out of limit afterward.

Kicking Scenarios that Negate a Touchback

Several occasions can happen in one opponent’s finish zone throughout a free-kick that can negate what would certainly otherwise be a routine touchback. A ball have to be dubbed dead one of two people in the finish zone or past it. However, till the officials declare the round dead, there are numerous things both the offense and also the defense have the right to do come negate the touchback.

For example, if the kickoff returner doesn’t wave for a fair capture or take a knee in the finish zone, castle can enter the ar of play to begin the offensive drive. This way that the following drive will begin at the spot of the ball down through contact. The NFL rulebook also states the the round carrier can’t re-enter the end zone after cross the goal line. If a reciever re-enters the finish zone after crossing the goal line, castle commit a safety and security penalty.

Historically, football rules allowed offensive players on the kicking team to shot and recover kickoffs and punts in the opponent’s end zone because that a touchdown. However, the national Football league amended these rules in an effort to prevent dangerous collisions.

Conclusion around Touchbacks in Football

In conclusion, a touchback occurs as soon as a round lands in a team’s end zone after ~ a kicking play. A touchback have the right to arise if the defensive team causes a fumble in the opposing team’s end zone. After ~ the touchback, the next scoring journey starts in ~ the opposing team’s 25-yard line.

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The idea behind the touchback is to perform two things. First, you desire to develop a safe setting for the receiver. Because that example, permitting a touchback top top a record in the finish zone stops the protective team native crashing right into them. Second, teams might want to preserve as lot time ~ above the clock as possible to win a game. The clock doesn’t operation if friend can contact a touchback or permit the sphere roll out of the end zone on a kick.