Topic: Kweshion about the footballs
Replies: 3   Last Post: Sep 26, 2017 8:48 AM by: silvavocati
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Kweshion about the footballs

Posted: Sep 25, 2017 10:10 PM

Been a fan for life but have always wondered why kickers can kick the ball significantly farther on kickoffs compared to field goal attempts?...

On kickoffs, is it because the ball is elevated on a tee? Does the kicker get more momentum with a running start?
On field goal attempts, do they have to kick it quicker than usual to prevent a block?

Just wondering how they get SO MUCH more distance during kickoffs.


Yes to all 3 of your questions

Posted: Sep 25, 2017 11:23 PM

Also less need for accuracy when kicking off.

Think 9 iron vs Driver. Same difference in swing.

Re: Kweshion about the footballs

Posted: Sep 26, 2017 5:25 AM

Having been a kicker and current kicker's dad, here's my answer on the subject: You and the previous poster are right. Most kickers in college have about a ten yard approach on kickoffs which increases momentum and velocity of the kicking leg coming through the ball, it also allows the kicker to see the ball for a longer period of time as opposed to the field goal. On kickoffs, the ball is usually on a 1-2inch tee based on the kickers preference and angled to expose more of the 'sweet spot". And, as the previous poster said, the accuracy is less of an issue but most kickers on that level still aim for general locations on the field(deep left, right, middle, pooch, etc.). The ball is also a possible factor as the kicker can use his favorite kicking ball on kickoffs while the ball that was in the game at the time of the TD or FG being called is the one that is used.(Not sure if that rule has changed since I was in college) On FG and XP in college, the ball is kicked off the ground in about 1.2-1.5 seconds which gives far more room for error and less time for the kicker to see the ball. Kicking off the ground presents a few challenges to a younger kicker that may not have adjusted to it in High School, which you can still use a kicking block up to two inches. Field condition plays a big role here as well. Also, the field goal is typically a 2-3 step process as opposed to a ten yard approach. The uprights in college are 18 1/2 feet wide and high school is a little more than 23 feet wide and definitely require far more precision by the kicker. A good long snapper and holder are very important as well. The kicker must work with them to gain consistent timing and the holder must give a clean hold and tilt based on the kickers preference. Too many holders still use the wrong hand to hold with and expose their fingers to getting in the way of the ball. For example, with a right footed kicker, the holder should be using his left hand to hold and the right hand to "spin the laces".

Straight physics and a little kinesiology:

Posted: Sep 26, 2017 8:48 AM

Stand and kick forward, marginal momentum in the swing of the leg.

Run and kick forward, you're now adding the leg kick to the running speed. Summation of this is more momentum and power. If you throw a ball 30 miles per hour out of a moving truck going 30mph, the ball is actually traveling 60 mph. So it's the same thing going on with the leg kick - you are essentially adding it to the running speed.

Add to this the added torque and follow-through of the leg swinging through on the run versus standing - much more power there.

Not trying to confuse, but Kind of similar in way to pitching. They can push off the rubber (and high mound) and move forward as their arm moves forward = much more power than tossing it without pushing off. Gravity is also throwing in an assist here as the mound is high, so the pitcher's body is actually flowing downhill.

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