How Scoring Works in Football

As the winner of the game is the team with the most points at the end of regulation, let’s take a look at how to get those points:

Touchdown – This is when the offensive team gets the ball into their opponent’s end zone, either by carrying it in or passing (throwing) it in. A touchdown is worth 6 points which is the most that can be scored at any one time, so it is the goal of the offense every time they get the ball.

If a team does score a touchdown, they have a free play, starting at the two-yard line, to pick one of two things:

Extra point – The team will snap the ball back to a holder, who will hold the ball on the ground while a kicker runs up and kicks the ball between the uprights. If the ball goes through the uprights (which it usually does) the team gets an extra 1 point.

Two-point conversion – The team has one play to get the ball into the end zone again. While it’s only two yards, the offense only has one chance and of course the defense is trying to stop them. If successful though, the team will receive an extra 2 points.

Field Goal – Kind of like an extra point, as far as the kicking goes, but from further back than the two yard line. A field goal can be attempted at any point and if the ball goes through the uprights, the kicking team will be awarded 3 points.

Safety – Unlike touchdowns and field goals, which are scored by a team on offense, a safety can be scored by the defensive team. If a defensive team tackles the offensive player who has the ball in his own end zone, the defensive team will be awarded 2 points.


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