steve asked in SportsFootball (American) · 1 decade ago

Why do they punt after a safety instead of kickoff?

14 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    There is no set rule that you have to punt or kickoff after a safety; either is acceptable. Most teams punt because due to the trajectory of the ball, returns on punts are usually much shorter than they are on kickoffs. Most kickoffs will travel 65-70 yards but you'll see at least a 20-25 yard return, meaning a net of about 45-50 yards. Most punts travel about 60 yards (remember that they're measured from the line of scrimmage during normal play, going about 45 yards, but the punter is 15 yards behind the line) but the average punt return is usually less than 5 yards. Net is about 55, which is 5-10 yards longer than the kickoff.

    Punts usually go higher than kickoffs, so while they're not as deep, the special teams have time to get downfield and cover the kick, while they're barely halfway downfield when a kickoff is caught.

  • 3 years ago

    Safety Kickoff Rules

  • 1 decade ago

    A team can actually kick off or punt after a safety. This done as part of a reward to the defense for getting the safety. Most teams punt because of the distance and accuracy a punter has.

  • 1 decade ago

    It's actually a free kick. They have a choice of punting or kicking with a holder. Almost all teams choose to punt since you can usually get a longer hang time and better coverage.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Its called a free kick. This has always happened after a safety. From what I gather, you are allowed to kick-off, but its more difficult to do for (as mentioned before) you cannot use the tee. You have to have a holder. That makes it more difficult and you do not want to give a team even better field position after they just scored on a safety.

  • 1 decade ago

    All the Answerers are wrong. You can kickoff, without a tee:

    Kicks after Safety

    1. In addition to a kickoff, the other free kick is a kick after a safety (safety kick). A punt may be used (a punt may not be used on a kickoff).

    2. On a safety kick, the team scored upon puts ball in play by a punt, dropkick, or placekick without tee. No score can be made on a free kick following a safety, even if a series of penalties places team in position. (A field goal can be scored only on a play from scrimmage or a free kick after a fair catch.)

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    hmmmm, well you do have the option to do either, and some say you can't use a tee. IF that's true then you would lose one guy to hold the ball in coverage....but that aint it....

    you kick off from the twenty so kicking off and out of the endzone is out of the question. SO, it's all about hangtime. and while punts don't go as far as kicks off a tee, they do go higher which allows for better coverage.

    better hang time when you punt as opposed to kick it off...thank you! guess we sorted that one out...huh?

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You actually DON'T have to punt. You're allowed to kick off, but the kicker can't use the tee so he has to have someone hold the ball like on a FG. Kickers can't hit the ball as well that way so they usually feel like they can get a better combination of hang time and distance by punting it.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Those other answerers are right. It's in the rules, but, it's a good freakin question about an odd rule. Not that it's a bad rule.

  • 1 decade ago

    It has been the rule in the NFL for 39 years

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