What Is A Touchback In Football?
In American football, a touchback is when the ball is downed in the opposing team’s end zone after being caught in the air on a kickoff or punt return.
It is also awarded if the ball goes out of bounds in the end zone while being carried by the kicking team’s returner on a kickoff or punt return. A touchback is worth two points for the receiving team.
What’s The Purpose of The Rule?
The main reason for the touchback rule is player safety. By downing the ball in the end zone, the players are not at risk of being tackled and injured. It also prevents teams from running back kicks for long distances and scoring easy points.
The touchback rule has been criticized recently as some believe it doesn’t do enough to promote player safety. In particular, there have been calls to move the touchback spot up to the 25-yard line. This would make it more likely for the returner to down the ball in the end zone rather than risk a tackle at or near the goal line.
Different Touchback Strategies
When kicking off, you may want to consider kicking the ball short of the end zone to avoid a touchback. By kicking the ball short of the end zone, the opposing team will have to bring it out and may not be able to get as much yardage on their return.
This can be a good strategy if you have a strong kicking game and want to limit the opposing team’s return. Head coach Bill Belichick asks his kicker to do this and allow his defense to swarm the defender before the 25-yard line.
Touchbacks can also be an excellent way to keep the ball out of the hands of dangerous returners. If the other team has a player who is particularly good at returning kicks, you may want to kick the ball into the end zone so they cannot get their hands on it.