Understanding Field Goals in Football

Understanding Field Goals in Football
Understanding Field Goals in Football

What is a field goal in American Football? A field goal in American football is a scoring play that involves kicking the ball through the uprights of the goalpost to earn three points. It can be attempted from anywhere on the field, but it is most commonly attempted within the kicker’s range on fourth down. To execute a field goal, the team will snap the ball to a holder, who then places it on the ground for the kicker to kick. A successful field goal requires the ball to pass through the uprights and over the crossbar of the goalpost.

Key Takeaways:

  • A field goal in football is worth three points.
  • It involves kicking the ball through the opponent’s goalposts.
  • The kick must be made from on or behind the line of scrimmage or from the spot of a fair catch.
  • The entire ball must pass through the vertical plane of the goal, between the uprights and above the crossbar.

Field Goal Rules and Conditions

The NFL Rulebook states specific conditions for a field goal attempt. Teams can try a field goal only from the line of scrimmage or behind it. They could also kick from where a fair catch is made.

Once players kick the ball, it can’t hit the ground or an offensive player. The ball has to go above the crossbar and between the uprights. The whole ball must cross over the goal’s vertical plane for the score to count.

The size of the field goal posts is important for a successful kick. They stand 18 feet and 6 inches apart. A crossbar sits 10 feet off the ground.


Knowing field goal rules is important for players and fans. It makes sure the game is fair and the score is right.


Scoring Points in Football

In football, teams can score points in several ways. Each score changes the game and adds to the fun. Knowing about these scoring methods helps us understand football better.

Field Goal

A field goal gets a team three points. To get these points, the offensive team kicks the ball through the goalposts. The ball must go over the crossbar and between the uprights. If they do this, they earn three points.


A touchdown is a big deal, worth six points. It happens when the offensive team moves the ball into the opponent’s end zone or catches it there. Scoring a touchdown shows the team’s skill and teamwork. It gets them closer to winning.


A safety is when the defense scores, earning two points. It happens if the offense makes a mistake in their own end zone or the defense tackles them behind their goal line. This score gives a big advantage to the team that makes the defensive play.

Try After Touchdown

After a touchdown, a team can go for an extra try. This decides if they get more points. A try can be worth one or two points. They can either kick the ball through the goalposts or try to score another touchdown. What they choose affects the final game score.

It’s key to know how many points each play is worth. This knowledge is important for everyone involved in the game, from players to fans. It makes football an exciting and fast-moving sport.


Techniques and Distances of Field Goals

To kick a field goal, you need the right skills and methods. The kicker’s goal is to get the ball through the posts from various parts of the field. This needs power, precision, and getting the timing right.

How to kick a field goal has many important steps. It starts with the kicker’s approach. They take steps back, get their body straight with the field, and turn their non-kicking foot a bit toward the goal.

Then, hitting the ball is all about accuracy and strength. The kicker aims to hit the ball with the part that looks like laces. They also need to kick in a way that their leg fully stretches out and keeps moving after they hit the ball.

The distance for a field goal try changes. It depends on where the team is on the field and how much they believe in their kicker. Attempts are made from the opposing team’s half. Yet, the longer tries are usually closer to the opponent’s goal line. This is to lessen the distance the ball needs to travel to score.

But distance isn’t the only challenge for field goals. The wind can twist the ball off course as it flies. Kicker must adjust their technique and aim to counter the wind.

The snap and hold of the ball before the kick must be perfect. A good snap and a secure hold give the kicker the best chance to kick accurately and with power.

Understanding and mastering field goal techniques make kickers key players. They score points and help their teams win.



In football, field goals play a big role, giving teams three points each. They often decide the winner of a game. To truly understand and enjoy the game, it helps to know the rules and how kickers make those points.

To score a field goal, the offensive team needs to kick the ball through the goal. They do this from the spot of a catch or from behind the scrimmage line. It should go through the posts and above the bar without hitting the ground or a player.

Field goals help teams earn points when they can’t get a touchdown or need more points. Kickers face many challenges, like the wind and getting the ball in the right spot to kick. Being good at this is a huge plus for a team.

Image courtesy Deposit Photos.


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