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Encyclopedia > Safety (football score)

A safety or safety touch, is a type of score in American football and Canadian football where a defensive team gains two points when the offensive team is tackled or loses possession in their own end zone. United States simply as football, is a competitive team sport that is both fast-paced and strategic. ... Canadian football is a sport in which two teams of twelve players each compete for territorial control of a field of play 110 yards (100. ... Most forms of football have a move known as a tackle. ... The end zone is a term in both Canadian football and American football. ...

Contents

Safety scores

A safety is the act by which one team gains two points when an opponent who possesses the ball:

  • is tackled in his own end zone
  • runs out of bounds in or behind the end line of his own end zone
  • fumbles the ball out of bounds in the end zone or across the end line
  • downs (kneels or falls on) the ball in the end zone (an intentional safety)
  • commits certain penalties, such as holding or intentional grounding, in the end zone.

If a player on the defense gains possession of the ball in their own end zone through a fumble recovery or interception and is tackled there, it is a touchback, not a safety. If he makes an interception outside of the end zone, his momentum carries him into the end zone and he is tackled there, his team gets the ball at the spot of the interception. However, if he gets the ball outside of the end zone and retreats on his own initiative into his own end zone, where he is tackled, it is a safety for the other team. The same rules apply on punts and kickoffs. The end zone is a term in both Canadian football and American football. ... A fumble in American football and Canadian football occurs when an offensive player such as the quarterback or a running back drops the ball while it is still in play. ... Note: this article is incomplete. ... A fumble in American football and Canadian football occurs when an offensive player such as the quarterback or a running back drops the ball while it is still in play. ... In Canadian or American football, an interception occurs when a quarterbacks pass is caught by a player on the opposing team. ... In American football, a touchback is a play which occurs when the ball crosses into or through the end zone not in control of the team which put it into play. ... Todd Sauerbrun punts the ball for the Carolina Panthers. ... A kick-off is a method of starting or restarting play in American football. ...


An official signals a safety by holding his hands above his head, palms touching. Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle and American football officials prepare to toss the coin to start the 40th annual National Football League Pro Bowl. ...


Safeties are by far the rarest of scores in American football, due to the relative rarity of the circumstances that could produce a safety. No National Football League team has ever recorded more than four in one season. Safeties usually occur when the offense starts a play close to its own end zone. In such cases, offenses often run very conservative, low-risk plays to avoid a safety. However, sometimes the defense tackles a ball-carrier before he can escape the end zone or sacks a quarterback trying to throw out of his own end zone. Safeties can also occur on punts if the receiving team blocks the kick, the snap is botched, or the punter accidentally or intentionally steps on the end line. Bills Dolphins Patriots Jets Ravens Bengals Browns Steelers Texans Colts Titans Broncos Chiefs Raiders Chargers Cowboys Giants Eagles Redskins Bears Lions Packers Vikings Falcons Panthers Saints Buccaneers Jaguars Cardinals Rams 49ers Seahawks The National Football League (NFL) is the largest professional American football league, consisting of thirty-two teams from... In American football and Canadian football, a quarterback sack occurs when the quarterback is tackled behind the line of scrimmage before he can throw a forward pass. ... Navy quarterback Aaron Polanco sets up to throw. ... Todd Sauerbrun punts the ball for the Carolina Panthers. ... A snap (colloquially called a hike, snapback, or pass from center) starts each Canadian football and American football play from scrimmage. ...


Intentional safeties are rare, but not unheard of. For a discussion of this strategy, see the "Elective safeties" section below.


Safeties are somewhat more common in Canadian football (see below). In American football and Canadian football, safety can refer to: two positions in the most-common defensive backfield setup, the strong safety and the free safety, or a type of score, worth one or two points. ...


Free kicks

In American football, safeties are followed by a free kick — by the team that 'allowed' the safety — from its own 20-yard line. That team can choose to punt, drop kick or placekick the ball to the other team (as they are not allowed to use a tee, which would be a kickoff). Normally, the team chooses to punt; the drop kick is virtually unheard of in practical play. Other rules are the same as on a kickoff, including rules for onside kick attempts. In Canadian football, the team that scored the safety can elect either to take the ball at its own 35-yard line or to make the other team kick off from its own 35-yard line. United States simply as football, is a competitive team sport that is both fast-paced and strategic. ... A free-kick in football describes the situation where a player on the opposing team has committed a foul, and you are given the ball to play from the position where the offence took place. ... A drop kick is someones dropping a ball and then kicking it when it bounces off the ground. ... Placekicker, or simply Kicker, is the title of the player in American and Canadian football who is responsible for the kicking duties of field goals, extra points, and, in many cases, kickoffs. ... A kick-off is a method of starting or restarting play in American football. ... An onside kick is a term used in American football and Canadian football for a play on a kickoff in which the ball is kicked a shorter distance than usual in order for the team that kicked it to regain possession of the ball. ...


Elective safeties

Occasionally, the team with the ball may concede a safety intentionally, as a game strategy, which implicitly explains the origin of the term "safety".


The elective safety is quite common on third down in Canadian football, since a punt from the end zone would give the receiving team much better field position than a kickoff from the 35-yard line would.


The elective safety is not seen often in four-down football, particularly since the development of the forward pass tended to neutralize the temporary 20-yard field position advantage. American teams rarely take a safety on purpose, but may do so if they are winning by a sufficient margin very late in the game, and are facing fourth down deep in their own territory. If there are just a few seconds on the clock, and the offensive team is ahead by 3 or more, they might back up into the end zone to eat up the time and then take a knee or run out of the endzone for the safety and a victory of 1 or more points. If they have at least an 11 point lead and there is time for more than one play in the game, they might take the safety in order to gain 20 yards on the punt, while leading by 9 after the safety. That pretty much ensures victory, because even if the receiving team scores, the time probably will have expired.


Compared to a punt from the end zone, a free kick from the 20 will typically put the opposing team in worse field position, and there is no risk of giving up a touchdown on a blocked or muffed punt from their own end zone. Under the right circumstances, there is very little downside to giving up the two points. Although all of this is considered good game strategy, it is rare simply because the situation does not arise very often. A touchdown is the primary method of scoring in American and Canadian football, in which the ball carrier causes the football to break the plane of the end zone, or an eligible receiver catches a forward pass in the end zone, thus earning 6 points for his team (in both...


Another situation can arise from a loose ball in the offense's own end zone (caused by a fumble or a blocked punt). An offensive player will often intentionally kick or bat the loose ball out of the end zone, to cause a safety. This prevents the defensive team from getting a chance at a recovery in the end zone and a touchdown.


Safeties on conversion attempts

College football's rules allow either team to score a one-point safety after a touchdown. Say that Team B blocks Team A's extra-point attempt, and a player on Team B picks up the ball on the 1-yard line. Looking for an opening, the player with the ball runs backwards two yards, where he is tackled. Team A receives one point, and the score is now 7-0. Team A then kicks off from its own 35-yard line. This has happened at least once before, in a game between Texas and Texas A&M in 2004.


Another scenario would be if Team B had blocked the kick (or recovered a turnover) and began to run the ball back 100 yards toward Team A's endzone, but at the last moment a pursuer from Team A knocked the ball loose. If the player from Team A were to pick up the ball, then run into his own endzone and be tackled, Team B would score one point, and the score would then be 6-1. Not only has this never happened, but it probably never will given the rarity of a block, a last second fumble, and a bad choice on the part of whoever recovered the fumble. It is notable, however, for being the only possible way to finish a regulation game with a score of exactly one point in American football.


The NFL also has a one-point safety rule on conversion attempts, although such a safety can only be scored by the offense. According to former NFL referee Jerry Markbreit:

"Under NFL rules, an unsuccessful try-for-point is dead if kicked, but while attempting a two-point try, it is possible for a safety to be ruled if the defensive team forces the ball back into their own end zone and they recover. One point would be awarded [to the offense], instead of the two points that are normally awarded for safeties."[1]

This scenario would cover a situation where an offensive player was carrying the ball toward the goal line for the 2-point attempt, and fumbled it, and a defensive player knocked the ball into the end zone and a co-defender fell on it to prevent another offensive player from retrieving it for a two-point conversion. Although called a one-point safety in the NFL rules, the effect would be a one-point conversion. Until the AFL-NFL merger, all NFL conversion attempts - kicking, or running, or this "conversion safety" scenario - counted as a single point.

Records

The NFL team record for safeties in a game is three, by the Los Angeles Rams against the New York Giants on September 30, 1984.[1] The individual record is two, by the Rams' Fred Dryer against the Green Bay Packers on October 21, 1973.[2] Ted Hendricks and Doug English share the NFL career record for safeties with four. [3] Bills Dolphins Patriots Jets Ravens Bengals Browns Steelers Texans Colts Titans Broncos Chiefs Raiders Chargers Cowboys Giants Eagles Redskins Bears Lions Packers Vikings Falcons Panthers Saints Buccaneers Jaguars Cardinals Rams 49ers Seahawks The National Football League (NFL) is the largest professional American football league, consisting of thirty-two teams from... The St. ... For the current season, see 2006 New York Giants season. ... September 30 is the 273rd day of the year (274th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1984 (MCMLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Fred Dryer (born July 6, 1946 in Hawthorne, California) is an American actor and former American football player in the National Football League (NFL). ... City Green Bay, Wisconsin Team colors Dark Green, Gold, and White Head Coach Mike McCarthy Owner 111,967 stockholders Chairman Bob Harlan General manager Ted Thompson Fight song Go! You Packers! Go! League/Conference affiliations Independent (1919-1920) National Football League (1921–present) Western Division (1933-1949) National Conference (1950... October 21 is the 294th day of the year (295th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 71 days remaining. ... 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday. ... Theodore (Ted) Paul Hendricks (Born: 1 November 1947 in Guatemala City, Guatemala) was an American football linebacker for the 1969 to 1973 Baltimore Colts (now Indianapolis Colts), 1974 Green Bay Packers and the 1975 to 1983 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders. ... Doug English (born August 25, 1953 in Dallas, Texas) is a former American football Defensive Tackle for the Detroit Lions (1975-1985). ...


Only two NFL games have ever ended in overtime with a safety: In 1989 when the Minnesota Vikings defeated the Los Angeles Rams 23-21 when Mike Merriweather blocked a punt into the end zone, and in 2004 when the Chicago Bears defeated the Tennessee Titans 19-17 when Billy Volek fumbled in his own end zone and a teammate recovered it but was unable to get out of the end zone. A 1989 pre-season game also ended in an overtime safety. Bills Dolphins Patriots Jets Ravens Bengals Browns Steelers Texans Colts Titans Broncos Chiefs Raiders Chargers Cowboys Giants Eagles Redskins Bears Lions Packers Vikings Falcons Panthers Saints Buccaneers Jaguars Cardinals Rams 49ers Seahawks The National Football League (NFL) is the largest professional American football league, consisting of thirty-two teams from... Overtime is an additional period of play specified under the rules of a sport in order to bring the game to a decision and avoid declaring the contest a tie or draw. ... City Minneapolis, Minnesota Other nicknames The Vikes, The Purple People Eaters Team colors Purple, Gold, and White Head Coach Brad Childress Owner Zygi Wilf General manager Rob Brzezinski Mascot Ragnar League/Conference affiliations National Football League (1961–present) Western Conference (1961-1969) Central Division (1967-1969) National Football Conference (1970... The St. ... Mike Merriweather is a former American football linebacker. ... City Chicago, Illinois Other nicknames Da Bears, The Monsters of the Midway Team colors Navy Blue, Orange and White Head Coach Lovie Smith Owner Virginia Halas McCaskey Chairman Michael McCaskey General manager Jerry Angelo Fight song Bear Down, Chicago Bears Mascot Staley Da Bear League/Conference affiliations Independent (1919) National... City Nashville, Tennessee Team colors Navy, Titans Blue, White, and Red Head Coach Jeff Fisher Owner Bud Adams General manager Floyd Reese Mascot T-Rac League/Conference affiliations American Football League (1960-1969) Eastern Division (1960-1969) National Football League (1970–present) American Football Conference (1970-present) AFC Central (1970... John William Volek (born April 28, 1976 in Hemet, California) is an American football quarterback who currently plays for Tennessee Titans. ...


The National Collegiate Athletic Association does not keep individual statistics for safeties. Three Division I-A teams have scored three safeties in a game: Arizona State in 1996; North Texas in 2003; and Bowling Green in 2005. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA, often pronounced N-C-Double-A or N-C-Two-A) is a voluntary association of about 1200 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States. ... Division I is the highest level of intercollegiate athletics sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association in the United States. ... Arizona State University (ASU) is a public institution of higher education and research with several campuses located in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. ... 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ... The University of North Texas (informally UNT or North Texas) is a public university located in Denton, Texas. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Bowling Green State University (BGSU) is a public four-year institution located in Bowling Green, Ohio, USA; about 20 miles south of Toledo, Ohio on I-75. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


See also

United States simply as football, is a competitive team sport that is both fast-paced and strategic. ... Note: this article is incomplete. ... A field goal (formerly goal from the field) is a general term used in some sports wherein a goal may be scored either during general play (from the field) or via some sort of free shot. ...

References

  1. ^ http://www.nfl.com/history/randf/records/team/safeties
  2. ^ http://www.nfl.com/history/randf/records/indiv/safeties
  3. ^ http://www.nfl.com/history/randf/records/indiv/safeties

External links


 
 

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