In football, a touchback frequently occurs on kickoffs, offense, and defense. A football ruling moves the ball to a particular location on the field.
According to the NFL touchback rule change, a touchback occurs when the ball becomes dead on and behind the goal line of the defending team, as long as the momentum comes from the opposing team and it is neither a touchdown nor an incomplete pass.
The ball is automatically placed at the offense’s NFL touchback 20 or 25-yard line. In this article, we will describe every possible touchback scenario.
How Many Yards In A Touchback?
The ball is put at the 25-yard place to begin the next drive following a touchback. Traditionally, football teams were given the ball at their 20-yard line. The NCAA adopted a rule change in 2012 that shifted the touchback starting position by five yards.
Six years later, in 2018, the NFL adopted the college football guideline for touchbacks.
What Are The Rules For A Touchback In Football?
- If a touchback takes place, the ball is instantly managed to bring to the 25-yard line. After a touchback on a kickoff return, the returned offense will enter the field, followed by the kicking team’s defense.
- If a team’s offensive fumbles the ball out of the opponent’s end zone, the ball is given to the opposing team, and their offense takes the field.
- Can you advance an onside kick? No! Why can’t you advance an onside kick? The kicking team shall not interfere with an effort by a player of the receiving side to capture the ball on the fly.
- Touchbacks are crucial in football because they assist in maintaining the ball in play. If teams prefer to kick the ball as far as they choose, they may choose to have the other team take possession of the ball at the 25-yard line.
- If the opposing side has a dangerous returner, it may be prudent to employ this strategy to prevent him from making a game-changing play.
- It is advantageous to kick the ball deep towards the end zone or far enough that it cannot be returned to avoid the returner from making a major impact.
Why Take A Touchback?
- A touchback can be helpful for the return team since it ensures that their offense will begin the play with a favorable field position.
- Can you punt a field goal? Often, the team would not be able to gain more yards by returning a kick or punt that reached their end zone than by simply accepting the touchback.
- Consequently, it makes much more sense not to try a return at all, regardless of how badly they want to score a touchdown on the return.
- A touchback can also be quite advantageous for a kickoff team. When they obtain a touchback, they do not have to worry about covering the kick, which could allow the returning squad to get more yards than the touchback would provide. Therefore, it is admirable that they are willing to sacrifice.
- A touchback could be beneficial or detrimental to a punt team. A touchback is typically favorable if the punter smashes the ball for a long punt since it indicates his punt was excellent.
- If the punt squad is punting from the opponent’s side of the field, the punter’s goal is to keep the return team as near their end zone as possible while preventing the ball from entering the end zone. In this instance, a touchback would be undesirable.
What’s The Result Of A Touchback?
Regardless of how the touchback occurs, the outcome is the same. The return team, or the team that recovered the turnover, will gain possession of the ball.
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The referee will place the ball on the team’s 25-yard line, and the offensive will have a first-and-10 situation.
The 25-yard line determines whether a touchback is positive or negative. For instance, if the return team was not expected to gain more than 25 yards on a return, it would be advantageous for them.
If they could have gained more, it will be advantageous for the kicking team.
A touchback following a turnover is always detrimental to the offense that committed the turnover and advantageous to the defense that caused it.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the difference between a safety and a touchback?
A touchback is not a play but rather the result of events that may occur throughout a play. A touchback is the reverse of safety in terms of momentum, given that safety is awarded when the ball becomes dead in a team’s goal line after that team caused the ball to cross the goal line.
2. What happens after a touchback?
In the event of a touchback, the team whose endzone the ball died in regains possession of the ball and begins to play with a first down at its own 20- or 25-yard line, depending on the circumstances.
3. Does a touchback count as a kickoff return?
After a touchback on a kick return, the returned offense will enter the field, followed by the kicking team’s defense. If a team’s offensive fumbles the ball out of the opponent’s end zone, the ball is given to the opposing team, and their offense takes the field.