Football 101
The Punt!

A player in the BACKFIELD that drops a ball and KICKS it before it hits the ground, executes a PUNT.


The PLAY begins when the ball is SNAPPED 11+ yards to the PUNTER (8).



He’s set that deep in the BACKFIELD to prevent Defenders from reaching him and blocking his KICK. Once the ball is PUNTED, possession has changed to the other team.

* He can also Run or throw a Pass. The Fake Punt is one of the more daring plays in football.

The PUNT RECEIVER is waiting 40+ yards away.



  1. If he FIELDS the ball, he can advance it.
  2. If the ball goes OUT OF BOUNDS, the next PLAY will start at that spot.
  3. If the ball goes into the END ZONE, the next PLAY starts at the 20.
  4. If he doesn’t FIELD the ball and it stays on the field, the next PLAY begins where the KICKING team stops the ball from rolling.


A PUNT RECEIVER must be given an opportunity to catch the ball.

Once it’s caught, he can be TACKLED.



This requires concentration as he attempts to secure a high floating ball with several players bearing down on him. If he feels they’re too close for comfort, he can wave his arm in the air and signal for a FAIR CATCH.

The FAIR CATCH allows the PUNT RECEIVER to catch the KICK without being TACKLED.
The ball cannot be advanced once he calls for a FAIR CATCH.

Dennis Launarey

Dennis from "Learnin' Football" is the author of “The Best Ladies Guide to Football So Far” and “A European Guide to American Football". Both are interactive workbooks with over 400 images, ongoing questions, chapter quizzes and 20 activities that teach you how to watch and enjoy a typical football game. Straying away from the encyclopedia type sports book, the reader is actively involved in the learning process. Follow him on Twitter @learninfootball and check out his books at

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