Kickoff Rules in a Football Game

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During a kickoff in a football game, the ball is usually placed on a tee at the 30 yard line for college and the NFL, and at the 40 yard line in high school. Learn about offside rules and onside kicks with help from a head football coach in this free video on kickoff rules.

Part of the Video Series: Football Tips & Equipment
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Video Transcript

Hi this is coach Jesse Shale from Miami, Florida. Let's talk about kick off rules for a football game. And kickoffs don't happen to often, but they do have some particular rules that do need to be followed, which are similar to other rules in football as well. When you kickoff the ball is usually placed on a tee. In the pros and in college at the thirty yard line, in high school at the forty yard line of the team that is kicking. And when that ball is placed there when the kicker runs up to kick it no member of his team can cross that line before he has kicked the ball. If they do that is an offsides penalty, five yard penalty, and they have to kick again. This is similar to the receiving team as well. The receiving team has to be ten yards off the ball, and they cannot cross that line until the ball has been kicked. Again if they do that will be an offsides penalty, and the ball will be moved up that time for five yards, and re-kicked. Once the ball is kicked there is a couple of different things that can happen. When the ball is kicked in play, and the ball rolls out of bounds without anybody from the receiving team touching it then the receiving team has the option to either take the ball where it went out of bounds or they can make the other team or they can take the ball from thirty yards from where the ball was kicked. So if the ball was kicked at the thirty yard line they could take it at their own forty yard line, if that makes sense. So that is if it gets kicked in play. If the ball is kicked it has to go at least ten yards before the kicking team can touch it. That is where it is different from a punt. A punt the receiving, the kicking team once they touch it it is a dead ball, and it is the other teams ball. But in the kick off once it has gone ten yards it is anybodies ball. The receiving team could pick it up or the kicking team could pick it up, and this where you see some on side kicks going on. And that is just where you try to get the ball back by kicking it very close to where you team is. You have just scored a touchdown or you just kicked a field goal, and you want the ball back, because you need to score. You are running out of time. So what you do is you kick it, and it has to go at least ten yards, but then you have got a chance to pick it up. And once the kicking team touches the ball they can get the ball after ten yards, however, they cannot run with it. The receiving team though if they touch it they can run with it, and go for it as well. So those are just some of the rules for kick off in football.

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