During a football game, a field goal is scored when the offensive team kicks the ball through the uprights.
In football, a field goal is worth three points and is the second highest scoring play. Field goals are typically kicked when a team has made it within striking distance of the opposing team’s end zone, but is not close enough to score a touchdown.
This is How it Works
It is also imperative to note that field goals are handled by a separate team of players from offense. There will be a holder, kicker, and long snapper assigned to each field goal.
Since field goals are kicked farther back from the line of scrimmage than most plays, a long snapper will throw the ball further back.
The holder will catch the ball and place it on the ground for the kicker to kick. The kicker will take a few steps and kick the ball between the uprights.
There will be a wall of blockers in front of the kicker, whose job it will be to buy the kicker time.
As the defensive players attempt to get through these blockers, they hope to block the kick before it passes through the uprights.
Blocked/Missed Field Goals
You may be wondering what happens when field goals don’t work as expected.
Missed field goals
When you miss a field goal, regardless of which down you attempt it on, the opposing team will gain possession of the football.
Further, the ball will be returned to the opposing team from where the field goal was attempted.
If you miss a field goal near midfield, the opposing team will gain possession.
If you miss a long-range field goal, you may give your opponents great field position.
Blocked field goals
Field goals that are blocked present a large problem for the offense. Both teams may be able to recover blocked field goals.
In the event that a field goal is blocked and it passes the line of scrimmage, only the defending team can recover and return the ball. If the blocked kick does not pass the line of scrimmage, either team may return it.
The offense will be able to retain possession of the ball if they recover a blocked kick and carry it past the first down marker. Otherwise, the defense will get possession of the ball regardless of whether they recover it.
In the absence of offensive players in the backfield and the momentum of the defense heading towards the opponent’s end zone, blocked field goals are often returned for touchdowns by the defense.
Icing the kicker
You also want to know about icing the kicker when it comes to field goals.
In football, field goals come at the most crucial moments, so the pressure falls on the kicker.
It is common practice for football coaches to call timeouts right before the kicker attempts a field goal. This forces the kicker to wait another thirty seconds before attempting the kick.
The goal is to make the kicker miss if he has extra time to think about this kick.
Many coaches still use the ice kicker strategy on field goals, even though it isn’t very effective.