What Is a Squib Kick In Football?

squib kick

What Is a Squib Kick In American Football?

A squib kick is a type of kickoff in football where the ball is kicked short and low to the ground to prevent a long return. Squib kicks can be used as a surprise element on special teams or as a way to avoid giving up a big return when the kicking team is struggling.

When to Use a Squib Kick

Kicking Team Is Having Trouble Stopping Returns: If the opposition has speedy returners or if the kicking team simply isn’t doing a good job of coverage, using a squib kick can be an effective way to limit the damage.

Element of Surprise: If a team has been using conventional kicks and the opposition has been able to anticipate and defend them effectively, a squib kick can be a way to catch the other team off guard.

Avoid Giving Up a Big Return: If the kicking team is in a good position and doesn’t want to risk giving up a good field position, a squib kick can be a way to keep the ball out of the hands of dangerous returners.

Downsides Of The Squib Kick

One of the biggest negatives of squib kicks in football is that they often don’t go as planned. The ball may not travel as far as intended or go in an unexpected direction. This can put the kicking team at a disadvantage and may even result in a turnover.

They are also often not as effective as traditional kicks, as the ball does not have the same amount of spin, making it more difficult to control. They often do not have the same power behind them, making them less likely to result in a touchback or field goal.

Squib kicks can also be dangerous for both the kicking and receiving teams. If the ball is not properly controlled, it can ricochet off players and cause serious injury. For this reason, many coaches prefer to avoid squib kicks altogether.

How to Execute a Squib Kick

Squib kicks are supposed to be short and low, so they don’t travel very far and are difficult to return. To execute a squib kick, the kicker will usually drop the ball down near his own feet and kick it off the ground. This gives the ball a low trajectory and makes it difficult to return.

Kicking the ball sideways is also something you could do. This is sometimes called a “pop-up kick,” It can be very effective at preventing returns. To do this, the kicker will drive his kicking foot through the side of the ball, causing it to spin sideways in the air. This makes it difficult for the returner to catch and gives the coverage team time to get downfield.


Squib kicks can be tricky to execute, so they are often reserved for special teams players who have experience with them. In general, they can be a valuable tool for limiting returns and surprising the opposition.