Safety (gridiron football score)

Last updated

Buffalo Bills quarterback J. P. Losman is tackled by New England Patriots defensive lineman Ty Warren. Because Losman was tackled behind his own goal line, this play resulted in a safety for New England. J.P. Losman tackled in the end zone by Ty Warren 2006-09-10.jpg
Buffalo Bills quarterback J. P. Losman is tackled by New England Patriots defensive lineman Ty Warren. Because Losman was tackled behind his own goal line, this play resulted in a safety for New England.

In gridiron football, the safety (American football) or safety touch (Canadian football) is a scoring play that results in two points being awarded to the scoring team. Safeties can be scored in a number of ways, such as when a ball carrier is tackled in his own end zone or when a foul is committed by the offense in their own end zone. After a safety is scored in American football, the ball is kicked off to the team that scored the safety from the 20-yard line; in Canadian football, the scoring team also has the options of taking control of the ball at their own 35-yard line or kicking off the ball, also at their own 35-yard line. The ability of the scoring team to receive the ball through a kickoff differs from the touchdown and field goal, which require the scoring team to kick the ball off to the scored upon team. [1] Despite being of relatively low point value, safeties can have a significant impact on the result of games, [2] and Brian Burke of Advanced NFL Stats estimated that safeties have a greater abstract value than field goals, despite being worth a point less, due to the field position and reclaimed possession gained off the safety kick. [1]

Contents

Safeties are the least common method of scoring in American football [3] but are not rare occurrences [2]  – since 1932, a safety has occurred once every 14.31 games in the National Football League (NFL), or about once a week under current scheduling rules. [2] A much rarer occurrence is the one-point safety, which can be scored by the offense on an extra point or two-point conversion attempt; those have occurred at least twice in NCAA Division I football since 1996, most recently at the 2013 Fiesta Bowl. No conversion safeties have occurred since at least 1940 in the NFL. A conversion safety by the defense is also possible, though highly unlikely; although this has never occurred, it is the only possible way a team could finish with a single point in an American football game. [upper-alpha 1]

Scoring a safety

American football

In American football, a safety is scored when any of the following conditions occur: [4] [5] [6]

Canadian football

In Canadian football, a safety touch is scored when any of the following conditions occur: [7]

Resuming play after a safety

American football

After a safety is scored, the ball is put into play by a free kick. The team that was scored upon must kick the ball from their own 20-yard line and can punt, drop kick, or place kick the ball. In professional play, a kicking tee cannot be used – however, a tee can be used in high school or college football. Once the ball has been kicked, it can be caught and advanced by any member of the receiving team, and it can be recovered by the kicking team if the ball travels at least 10 yards or a player of the receiving team touches the ball. [8] [9]

Canadian football

After scoring a safety touch, the scoring team has the option of taking control of the ball and beginning play from their own 35-yard line, kicking the ball off from their 35-yard line, or accepting a kickoff from the 25-yard line of the team that conceded the score. [10] If a kickoff is chosen it must be a place kick, and the ball can be held, placed on the ground, or placed on a tee prior to the kick. As in American football, the ball must go at least ten yards before it can be recovered by the kicking team. [11]

Elective safeties

In American football, intentionally conceded safeties are an uncommon strategy. Teams have utilized elective safeties to gain field position for a punt when pinned deep in their own territory [12] [13] and, when ahead near the end of a game, to run down the clock so as to deny the other team a chance to force a turnover or return a punt. [14] [15] [16] [17] Teams have also taken intentional safeties by kicking a loose ball out the back of their end zone, with the intent of preventing the defense from scoring a touchdown. [18] [19]

Elective safeties are more common in Canadian football, where they can result in better field position than a punt. The 2010 Edmonton Eskimos surrendered a Canadian Football League (CFL)-record 14 safeties, a factor that led CFL reporter Jim Mullin to suggest increasing the value of the safety touch from two to three points as a deterrent. [20]

Conversion safeties (one-point safeties)

Scored by the offense

In American football, if a team attempting an extra point or two-point conversion (officially known in the rulebooks as a try) scores what would normally be a safety, that attempting team is awarded one point. [21] [22] [23] This is commonly known as a conversion safety or one-point safety. [23] [24] The first known occurrence of the conversion safety was in an NCAA University Division game on October 2, 1971, scored by Syracuse in a game at Indiana. On a failed point-after-touchdown kick, an Indiana player illegally batted the ball in the end zone (a spot foul defensive penalty). [25] [26] [27] There are two other known occurrences of the conversion safety in Division I college football – a November 26, 2004, game in which Texas scored against Texas A&M, and the 2013 Fiesta Bowl in which Oregon scored against Kansas State. [28] In both games, the point-after-touchdown kick was blocked and recovered by the defense, which then fumbled or threw the ball back into its own end zone. [29] A conversion safety has occurred once in Division I-AA (scored by Nevada on September 21, 1991, against North Texas) [30] and once in Division II (scored by Morningside College on November 9, 1996, against Northern Colorado). [31] There are also at least four known NCAA Division III occurrences, the first being on October 20, 1990, scored by DePauw University against Anderson University; [32] the second on October 23, 1993, scored by Salisbury State against Wesley College; [33] the third on November 11, 2000, scored by Hamline University against St. Thomas-Minnesota, [34] and the most recent scored by Bluffton University against Franklin College (Indiana) on November 9, 2013. [35] [36] [37] One-point safeties have also occurred in a NAIA game and two junior college games. [38] [39] [40]

No conversion safeties have been scored in the NFL since 1940, although it is now slightly more likely after the rule change in 2015 which allowed the defense to take possession and score on a conversion attempt. Before 2015, the only scenario in which a one-point safety could have been scored in the NFL would have involved, on a conversion attempt in which the ball was not kicked by the offense, the defense then kicking or batting a loose ball out of its own end zone without taking possession of the ball, giving the offense a one-point safety. [41] [42] [43] [44]

Scored by the defense

In the NFL and NCAA, a conversion safety can also be scored by the defense. [22] [21] This scoring play has never occurred; to accomplish this, the team attempting the try must somehow be forced back to its own end zone. A possible scenario would involve a turnover while attempting a conversion, followed by the defending team’s ball-carrier fumbling while en route to the attempting team's end zone, with the attempting team finally recovering the ball and, after establishing possession outside the end zone, downing it in its own end zone. While such a conversion safety has never been scored by the defense, it is the only possible way under current rules in which a team could finish with a single point in an American football game. [upper-alpha 1] [45]

See also

Notes

Footnotes

  1. 1 2 At some levels of play, a forfeit would be recorded as a 10 result.

Citations

  1. 1 2 Burke, Brian (September 22, 2008). "What's a Safety Really Worth?". Advanced NFL Stats. Archived from the original on January 24, 2013. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 Belson, Ken (December 8, 2011). "All That Work for 2 Points". The New York Times . The New York Times Company. Archived from the original on December 31, 2011. Retrieved November 5, 2012.
  3. Romer, David (April 2006). "Do Firms Maximize? Evidence from Professional Football" (PDF). Journal of Political Economy . 114 (2): 340–365. doi:10.1086/501171. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 18, 2012. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
  4. NFL Rules 2018, Rule 11 Scoring, Section 5 Safety, p. 44.
  5. NCAA Rules 2011–2012, pp. 8081.
  6. NFHS Rules 2012, pp. 6667.
  7. CFL Rules 2011, p. 27.
  8. NFL Rules 2018, Rule 6 Free Kicks, pp. 2325.
  9. NFHS Rules 2012, pp. 15, 46, 5253.
  10. CFL Rules 2011, p. 29.
  11. CFL Rules 2011, pp. 3639.
  12. "Belichick's gamble pays off for Patriots". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
  13. Lewerenz, Dan (October 23, 2004). "No. 25 Iowa 6, Penn State 4" . Retrieved March 10, 2013.
  14. Antonik, John (December 1, 2007). "Ouch!". West Virginia Mountaineers Sports. Archived from the original on May 26, 2011. Retrieved December 20, 2010.
  15. "Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Texas A&M Aggies". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on December 18, 2011. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  16. "UCLA Bruins vs. California Golden Bears". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on December 18, 2013. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  17. Craft, Kevin (February 4, 2013). "The Moral of Super Bowl XLVII: Pay Attention to Special Teams". The Atlantic . Archived from the original on March 13, 2013. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
  18. "Warner, St. Louis Struggle Past Tampa Bay". The Washington Post . January 24, 2000. Archived from the original on April 11, 2014. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  19. Manfred, Tony (October 21, 2012). "Mark Sanchez Intentionally Kicks The Ball Out Of The Back Of The Endzone In The Saddest Play Of The Weekend". Business Insider . Archived from the original on May 13, 2013. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
  20. Mullin, Jim. "Mullin: Changing the Game - 3 point safety". CFL.com. Archived from the original on June 24, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
  21. 1 2 NFL Rules 2018, Rule 11 Scoring, Section 3 Try, p. 42.
  22. 1 2 NCAA Rules 2011–2012, pp. 7779.
  23. 1 2 NFHS Rules 2012, pp. 6566.
  24. Easterbrook, Greg (December 19, 2007). "TMQ Nation Fires Back". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved November 5, 2012.
  25. Hammel, Bob (October 3, 1971). "Hungry crowd finds a 'Darling' in defense". The Bedford Daily-Times Mail. 6 (5). Bedford, Indiana. p. 25 via Newspapers.com. Kicker George Bodine's effort was far short, and [Mike] Heizman, standing in front of the goal posts, reacted to the falling ball by swatting it away, mosquito-swatting style. Center Greg Aulk fell on the ball for Syracuse. ... 'It was just a reflex action,' Heizman said. 'I never even thought about the ball being live.'
  26. "College Football Notes". The Vincennes Sun-Commercial. 41 (212). Vincennes, Indiana. October 6, 1971. p. 17 via Newspapers.com. Syracuse was trying to kick the extra point after taking a 6-0 lead. The ball was kicked almost straight up in the air and was coming down obviously short of the crossbar when an Indiana player [illegally] batted the ball down in the end zone and Syracuse recovered.
  27. Nissenson, Herschel (October 5, 1971). "Grambling TV rating 'low'". The Shreveport Journal. 77. Shreveport, Louisiana. p. 10A.
  28. Myerburg, Paul (January 4, 2013). "One-point safety adds spice to dull Fiesta Bowl". USA Today . Archived from the original on March 18, 2013. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
  29. Greenburg, Chris (January 4, 2013). "Oregon 1-Point Safety: Kansas State Blocks Ducks' Extra Point Attempt But Gives Up Unlikely Point". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on April 10, 2013. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
  30. Trent, John (September 22, 1991). "Clafton sets Wolf Pack tackle record, hints freshman Milliken could break it". Reno Gazette-Journal. Reno, Nevada. p. 3D.
  31. Hersom, Terry (November 10, 1996). "M'side suffers 17-7 loss". Sioux City Journal. 133 (75). Sioux City, Iowa. p. D1, D6.
  32. "A one-pointer". Marshfield News-Herald. 71 (58). Marshfield, Wisconsin. May 9, 1991. p. 12.
  33. Murphy, Ed (October 24, 1993). "Wesley gets revenge on Gulls 45-30". The News Journal. 19 (43). Wilmington, Delaware. p. D-10.
  34. "UST football wins finale over Hamline, 19-13". University of St. Thomas. 2000-11-11. Archived from the original on 2018-07-09. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  35. FootballScoopVideos (2014-04-16). "1 Pt Safety" . Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  36. "Franklin College vs Bluffton University (11-09-13)". www.bluffton.edu. Archived from the original on 2014-07-13. Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  37. Barnett, Zach (2014-04-16). "You might never see a play like this again in your lifetime - FootballScoop". FootballScoop. Archived from the original on 2018-05-02. Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  38. "Cabrillo off to big start, 41-19". Santa Cruz Sentinel. 135 (251). Santa Cruz, California. September 11, 1992. p. D-1, D-4.
  39. "One-point safety!". Standard-Speaker. Hazleton, Pennsylvania. September 8, 1996. p. B8.
  40. "Results, College Football, Western States Conference". The Los Angeles Times (Valley Edition). September 22, 1996. p. C11.
  41. Bialik, Carl (January 3, 2013). "In Praise of the One-Point Safety". The Wall Street Journal . Archived from the original on February 12, 2013. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
  42. Smith, Michael David (May 22, 2015). "NFL may see its first one-point safety". Profootballtalk.com. NBC Universal. Retrieved 2020-01-15.
  43. Nogle, Kevin (March 3, 2018). "Football 101: The one-point safety". Thephinsider.com. Vox Media LLC. Retrieved 2020-01-15.
  44. Snyder, Jeremy (January 4, 2013). "One-point safety". Quirky Research. Retrieved 2020-01-15.
  45. Bois, Jon (December 7, 2016). "Chart Party: Scorigami, or the story of every NFL final score that has ever happened". SBNation. 18:15 in the video for the discussion of possibilities for a one-point defensive safety. Archived from the original on February 13, 2017. Retrieved February 12, 2017.

Related Research Articles

Canadian football Canadian team sport

Canadian football is a sport played in Canada in which two teams of 12 players each compete for territorial control of a field of play 110 yards (101 m) long and 65 yards (59 m) wide attempting to advance a pointed oval-shaped ball into the opposing team's scoring area.

End zone Scoring area on the field in gridiron football

The end zone is the scoring area on the field, according to gridiron-based codes of football. It is the area between the end line and goal line bounded by the sidelines. There are two end zones, each being on an opposite side of the field. It is bordered on all sides by a white line indicating its beginning and end points, with orange, square pylons placed at each of the four corners as a visual aid. Canadian rule books use the terms goal area and dead line instead of end zone and end line respectively, but the latter terms are the more common in colloquial Canadian English. Unlike sports like association football and ice hockey which require the ball/puck to pass completely over the goal line to count as a score, both Canadian and American football merely need any part of the ball to break the vertical plane of the outer edge of the goal line.

Touchdown Means of scoring in both American and Canadian football

A touchdown is a scoring play in gridiron football. Whether running, passing, returning a kickoff or punt, or recovering a turnover, a team scores a touchdown by advancing the ball into the opponent's end zone.

Free kick

A free kick is an action used in several codes of football to restart play with the kicking of a ball into the field of play.

Gridiron football Sport primarily played in the United States and Canada

Gridiron football, also known as North American football or, in North America, simply football, is a family of football team sports primarily played in the United States and Canada. American football, which uses 11-player teams, is the form played in the United States and the best known form of gridiron football worldwide, while Canadian football, featuring 12-player teams, predominates in Canada. Other derivative varieties include indoor football and Arena football, football for smaller teams, and informal games such as touch and flag football. Football is played at professional, collegiate, high school, semi-professional, and amateur levels.

Onside kick Short kickoff in gridiron football to try to keep possession of the ball

In gridiron football, an onside kick is a kickoff deliberately kicked short in an attempt by the kicking team to regain possession of the ball. This is in contrast with a typical kickoff, in which the kicking team intends to give the ball to the other team and thus kicks the ball far downfield in order to maximize the distance the receiving team has to advance the ball in order to score. The risk to the team attempting an onside kick is that if it is unsuccessful and the receiving team gets the ball, the receiving team usually has a much better field position than it might have with a normal kickoff. Rules and procedures for onside kicks differ between the different codes and leagues of gridiron football.

In American football, a touchback is a ruling which is made and signaled by an official when the ball becomes dead on or behind a team's own goal line and the opposing team gave the ball the momentum, or impetus, to travel over or across the goal line. Since the 2018 season, touchbacks have also been awarded in college football on kickoffs that end in a fair catch by the receiving team between its own 25-yard line and goal line. Such impetus may be imparted by a kick, pass, fumble, or in certain instances by batting the ball. A touchback is not a play, but a result of events that may occur during a play. A touchback is the opposite of a safety with regard to impetus since a safety is scored when the ball becomes dead in a team's end zone after that team — the team whose end zone it is — caused the ball to cross the goal line.

Comparison of American and Canadian football

American and Canadian football are gridiron codes of football that are very similar; both have their origins in rugby football, but some key differences exist.

Single (football)

In Canadian football, a single is a one-point score that is awarded for certain plays that involve the ball being kicked into the end zone.

American football rules Rules for American football

Gameplay in American football consists of a series of downs, individual plays of short duration, outside of which the ball is dead or not in play. These can be plays from scrimmage – passes, runs, punts, or field goal attempts – or free kicks such as kickoffs and fair catch kicks. Substitutions can be made between downs, which allows for a great deal of specialization as coaches choose the players best suited for each particular situation. During a play, each team should have no more than 11 players on the field, and each of them has specific tasks assigned for that specific play.

Fair catch kick

The fair catch kick is a rule at the professional and high school levels of American football that allows a team that has just made a fair catch to attempt a free kick from the spot of the catch. The kick must be either a place kick or a drop kick, and if it passes over the crossbar and between the goalposts of the opposing team's goal, a field goal, worth three points, is awarded to the kicking team.

Kickoff (gridiron football)

A kickoff is a method of starting a drive in gridiron football. Typically, a kickoff consists of one team – the "kicking team" – kicking the ball to the opposing team – the "receiving team". The receiving team is then entitled to return the ball, i.e., attempt to advance it towards the kicking team's end zone, until the player with the ball is tackled by the kicking team, goes out of bounds, or scores a touchdown. Kickoffs take place at the start of each half of play, the beginning of overtime in some overtime formats, and after scoring plays.

High school football is gridiron football played by high school teams in the United States and Canada. It ranks among the most popular interscholastic sports in both countries, but its popularity is declining. According to the Washington Post, between 2009 and 2019, participation in high school football has declined by 9%.

Field goal

A field goal (FG) is a means of scoring in gridiron football. To score a field goal, the team in possession of the ball must place kick, or drop kick, the ball through the goal, i.e., between the uprights and over the crossbar. American football requires that a field goal must only come during a play from scrimmage, while Canadian football retains open field kicks and thus field goals may be scored at any time from anywhere on the field and by any player. The vast majority of field goals, in both codes, are place kicked. Drop kicked field goals were common in the early days of gridiron football but are almost never done in modern times. In most leagues, a successful field goal awards three points.

The following terms are used in American football, both conventional and indoor. Some of these terms are also in use in Canadian football; for a list of terms unique to that code, see Glossary of Canadian football.

American football Team field sport

American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, the team with possession of the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with the ball or passing it, while the defense, the team without possession of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs or plays; if they fail, they turn over the football to the defense, but if they succeed, they are given a new set of four downs to continue the drive. Points are scored primarily by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.

Two-point conversion

In gridiron football, a two-point conversion or two-point convert is a play a team attempts instead of kicking a one-point conversion immediately after it scores a touchdown. In a two-point conversion attempt, the team that just scored must run a play from scrimmage close to the opponent's goal line and advance the ball across the goal line in the same manner as if they were scoring a touchdown. If the team succeeds, it earns two additional points on top of the six points for the touchdown, for a total of eight points. If the team fails, no additional points are scored. In either case, if any time remains in the half, the team proceeds to a kickoff.

Punt (gridiron football)

In gridiron football, a punt is a kick performed by dropping the ball from the hands and then kicking the ball before it hits the ground. The most common use of this tactic is to punt the ball downfield to the opposing team, usually on the final down, with the hope of giving the receiving team a field position that is more advantageous to the kicking team when possession changes. The result of a typical punt, barring any penalties or extraordinary circumstances, is a first down for the receiving team. A punt is not to be confused with a drop kick, a kick after the ball hits the ground, now rare in both American and Canadian football.

Conversion (gridiron football)

The conversion, try, or convert occurs immediately after a touchdown during which the scoring team is allowed to attempt to score one extra point by kicking the ball through the uprights in the manner of a field goal, or two points by bringing the ball into the end zone in the manner of a touchdown.

References