American Football Safety

What Does a Safety do in American Football (Gridiron Football Score)?

In American football, Safety is a scoring play using which the scoring team can bag two points. This should not be confused with the Safety American football position, which is a part of the defense of the team. Although the occurrence of Safety in football is rare, it can still happen if the offense is not cautious. 

The NFL Rule book states the conditions under which safety in football is scored. According to it, “if the offense commits a foul in its own end zone or; when an impetus by a team sends the ball behind its own goal line, and the ball is dead in the end zone in its possession, or the ball is out of bounds behind the goal line.”

Let us simplify this for you, simply put, Safety in football is when either the ball goes through the end zone of the offense, or when a player is tackled in their own end zone. In other words, the defending team gets safety if one of its players sends the ball into the end zone of the opponent and the ball becomes dead without changing possession to the offense. This can happen when the offense is pushed into their territory if they have not chosen their play-calling carefully. 

A safety can occur if a quarterback, running back, or a receiver is tackled with the ball in their own end zone or if they are out of bounds behind the goal line. In both cases, two points for safety are awarded to the defense. Another condition under which safety is awarded is when the offense commits a penalty that would otherwise require it to have the ball marked in its own end zone.


Scoring a safety in Football

Scoring a safety in Football:


As we know, the scoring team gets two points if they are able to score a safety. The important factor, when going for safety, is the impetus, or the force, which keeps the ball moving and provides it with the momentum required to penetrate to the end zone. You can score a safety in football using a number of ways.  

Primarily, there is a debate over whether teams should go for it or punt it when they are driving into the territories of the opponents. To score a safety, a lot of coaches advise their teams to punt. Punting helps them cover more ground and pin the opponent team deep into their territory. This increases their chances of getting a safety if they can down the punt inside of the opponent’s 5-yard line. We discuss the reasons for choosing to punt later in this article. But for now, let us discuss the different using which the defense can score a safety: 

The first way for a team to score a safety is if they tackle a player from the opponent team in the end zone or a player out of the end zone.

This is the most common type of safety that a team can score. 


Once a player from the offense gets into the end zone with the football, they need to make sure that they get the football out of the end zone completely in order to avoid safety. If they are unable to do so and are tackled with 1/2 of the football still in the end zone, it will be called a safety. For this reason, the offense tries to throw the ball deep, initially during the early downs. This helps them get out of their own zone. Thus, minimizing the chances of safety. 

On the other hand, if the defense pins the offense down in their territory, they will try a safety rather aggressively. 

The second way for the teams to score a safety is if the ball is fumbled out of the end-zone.

Suppose, a team has a ball on their one-yard line. When they punt, the punter would be required to make adjustments as they would have a shortened distance as the field will be shortened. In this case, the long snapper usually either snaps the ball low or snaps the ball over the head of the punter. 

If the ball happens to be snapped out of the end zone, safety will be awarded to the defending team. Likewise, if the ball goes out of the end zone of the offense, at any point during the punt it will be considered a safety. 

Safety is also awarded to the defense when a blocked punt goes out of the end zone of the offensive team. And if the receiver of the punt happens to muffle the ball, and when trying to retrieve the ball back, the punt receiver forces or illegally kicks the ball into the kicking team’s end zone. The ball at this point must go out of the end zone in order for the safety to be awarded. The defense is also given a safety if a muffed ball is forced into the end zone and then recovered there by a player of the defensive team. 

To call a safety, a referee puts both their hands over their hand with their palms joined together over their head. When this happens the ball is given back to the defense along with 2

American Football Positions

Safety Points:


Safety Kick: resuming the play after safety is awarded. 

After the safety is awarded the defense is given possession of the ball. This means that the offensive team has to kick or punt the ball to the defensive team. This can really affect the play of the offensive team because they not only let up two points to the defense but also have to give the ball to them. 

Safety in a football match is followed by a safety kick, which is a type of kickoff. In this kickoff, the kicker is not allowed to kick the ball off of a tee, but rather they have to punt the ball. The kicking team lines up on their 35-yard line and the receiving team begins to line up on their own 45-yard line. There is a 20-yard line gap between the two teams. This play is as rare as the occurrence of safety. 

Punting after a safety: why do teams go for punting after a safety? 

When the defense is awarded a safety the offense is required to kickoff. The teams can decide for themselves as to whether they want to kick or punt the football once they give up a safety. Most often than not, they choose to go for punting the ball to the other side

There are several reasons why teams go for punting after the safety is given up. One of the reasons is that it is easier to cover. It also provides the kicking team with various alternative choices. 

If one opts to punt, the ball goes higher in the air and also farther down the field than it does when using a traditional kick. A lot many times the players choose to punt hoping that their teammates will be able to get downfield and cover the football. 

Since the ball goes farther when punting is used, it allows the kicking team to make a move to tackle the ball sooner in the field.

Another reason for choosing to punt after safety is that punting helps to kick the ball onside to any player in hopes of recovering the ball. This gives the kicking team more flexibility to punt or onside kick the football.

How to avoid a safety 

Safeties in football are rarely occurring scoring plays. But offense can prepare beforehand to tackle a situation that might lead to safety. There are certain steps that the offense team can take when they see that they are close to their own end zone. These steps can help the offense avoid safety and rob the defense of its chance to gain 2 points from it. 

The offense can try to use low-risk plays. The offense can focus on short passes or runs, this will ensure that the ball does not go dead in their end zone. Thus reducing the chances of safety. 

Although in most cases teams try to do everything they can to avoid getting a safety, however, there are some rare instances where the team has purposely taken a safety. This occurs when a team does not want to punt, additionally, they either want to risk a punt return or they are looking at another strategic advantage from this move. Apart from this, the punter may also run around in their own end zone and take safety. They do this to take time off the clock. However, taking any of these measures will not prevent the opposing team from gaining points. 

Safety Points Scoring

One point safety or conversion safeties: 

One-point safeties occur in football on a PAT (points after touchdown) play. If any one of the team is tackled in their own end zone,  the safety counts for one point rather than two. 

Suppose a point after touchdown attempt is blocked and caught by the defense but the player who caught or blocked the play is tackled within their own end zone, this will result in awarding one point safety to the other team. 

So far the NFL has not seen any conversion safeties or one-point safeties. It seems that now that they have changed the law in 2015, it is slightly more likely that a team could score a one-point safety.  The change in the law that took place in 2015 allowed the defense to take possession and score on a conversion attempt.  Before this change in 2015, the only possible situation was when a team could have scored a one-point safety. This would have involved a conversion attempt in which the ball was not kicked by the offense. The defense would then have to kick the bat or bat a loose ball out of its own end zone without taking possession of the ball. This would allow the offense a one-point safety. 

Scored by the defense

In American Football, a conversion safety or a one-point safety can also be scored by the defense. Although in the history of American football this score play has never occurred.  

To score a one-point safety,  the team attempting to score must be forced back to its own end zone. A scenario where this could happen is if a team attempted a turnover while attempting a conversion. Following this, the ball carrier of the defense should fumble while on their way to the attempting team’s end zone. Once the attempting team recovers the ball and has established possession of it outside the end zone, they have to down it in their 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.

When the offense is pushed into its territory, it is common to see the defense being aggressive and trying to score a safety, while the offense tries to throw the ball deep to get out of their own zone or run Quarterback sneak to get out of their zone.

Safety is a very good strategic move in football that gives the scorer an upper hand and makes things a little difficult for the other side. 

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