Field goal

A field goal (FG) is a means of scoring in American football and Canadian 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 (a notable exception is in six-man football where, due to the difficulty of making a successful field goal because of the small number of players available to stop the opposing team from attempting a block, a field goal is worth four points).

A field goal may also be scored through a fair catch kick, but this is extremely rare. Since a field goal is worth only three points, as opposed to a touchdown, which is worth six points, it is usually only attempted in specific situations (see Strategy).

The goal structure consists of a horizontal crossbar suspended 10 feet (3.0 m) above the ground, with two vertical goalposts 18 feet 6 inches (5.64 m) apart extending vertically from each end of the crossbar.[1] In American football, the goals are centered on each end line; in Canadian football, they are centered on each goal line.

American Football Kick
Execution of a field goal.

Strategy

As a field goal is worth only three points, while a touchdown scores at least six (which usually becomes seven with a successful conversion, and potentially 8 with a two-point conversion), teams will generally attempt a field goal only in the following situations:

  • It is fourth down (third down in Canadian rules), especially if the offense is more than a yard or two from a new first down, and within about 45 yards of the goal posts.
  • In the first half, there is enough time remaining to execute only one more play.
  • In the second half, there is enough time remaining to execute only one more play, and the team on offense needs three points to win or tie (four points in a few leagues given special circumstances).

Except in desperate situations, a team will generally attempt field goals only when keeping a drive alive is unlikely, and its kicker has a significant chance of success, as a missed field goal results in a turnover at the spot of the kick (in the NFL) or at the line of scrimmage (in the NCAA). In American high school rules and Canadian football, where a missed field goal is treated the same as a punt, most teams still opt not to attempt field goals from very long range since field goal formations are not conducive to covering kick returns. Even under ideal conditions, the best professional kickers historically had difficulty making kicks longer than 50 yards consistently (the NFL record is 64 yards and the CFL record, 62 yards).[2] If a team chooses not to attempt a field goal on their last down, they can punt to the other team. A punt cannot score any points in American football unless the receiving team touches the ball first and the kicking team recovers it (though it can result in a single in Canadian football), but it may push the other team back toward its own end.

The longest field goal kick in NFL history is 64 yards, a record set by Matt Prater on December 8, 2013. The previous record was 63, originally set by Tom Dempsey (1970) and then matched by Jason Elam (1998), Sebastian Janikowski (2011), David Akers (2012), and Graham Gano (2018). High school, college and most professional football leagues offer only a three-point field goal; however, some professional leagues have encouraged more rare kicks through four-point field goals. NFL Europe encouraged long field goals of 50 yards or more by making those worth four points instead of three (much like Australian rules' Super Goal or basketball's three-point line), a rule since adopted by the Stars Football League. Similarly, the sport of arena football sought (unsuccessfully) to repopularize the drop kick by making that worth four points; it failed, since only one kicker (Brian Mitchell) was able to do it with any semblance of proficiency. (In six-man football, where there is no offensive line, all field goals are worth four points instead of the usual three.)

The overall field goal percentage during the 2010 NFL season was 82.3. In comparison, Jan Stenerud, one of only two pure kickers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (along with Ray Guy), had a career field goal percentage of 66.8 from 1967 to 1985.[2]

How field goals are kicked

Video of a successful field goal try.

When a team decides to attempt a field goal, it will generally line up in a very tight formation, with all but two players lined up along or near the line of scrimmage: the placekicker and the holder. The holder is usually the team's punter or backup quarterback. Instead of the regular center, a team may have a dedicated long snapper trained especially to snap the ball on placekick attempts and punts.

The holder usually lines up seven to eight yards behind the line of scrimmage, with the kicker a few yards behind him. Upon receiving the snap, the holder holds the ball against the ground vertically, with the stitches away from the kicker. The kicker begins his approach during the snap, so the snapper and holder have little margin for error. A split-second mistake can disrupt the entire attempt.

2006TexasA&MvsCitadel fieldgoal
Texas A&M attempts a field goal against The Citadel in 2006

The measurement of a field goal's distance is from the goalpost to the point where the ball was positioned for the kick by the holder. In American football, where the goalpost is located at the back of the end zone (above the end line), the ten yards of the end zone are added to the yard line distance at the spot of the hold.

Until the 1960s, placekickers approached the ball straight on, with the toe making first contact with the ball. The technique of kicking the ball "soccer-style", by approaching the ball at an angle and kicking it with the instep, was introduced by Hungarian-born kicker Pete Gogolak in the 1960s.[3] Reflecting his roots in European soccer, Gogolak observed that kicking the ball at an angle could cover more distance than kicking straight-on; he played college football at Cornell and made his pro debut in 1964 with the Buffalo Bills of the AFL; his younger brother Charlie was also an NFL kicker. The soccer-style kick gained popularity and was nearly universal by the late 1970s; the last straight-on kicker in the NFL was Mark Moseley, who retired in 1986.

Successful field goals

If there is any time left in the half, the method of resuming play after a successful field goal varies between leagues.

National Football League
The scored-against team receives a kickoff.[4]
National Collegiate Athletic Association
The scored-against team receives a kickoff.[5]
National Federation of High Schools
The scored-against team can choose to either receive a kickoff or kick off themselves. (In practice, almost all choose to receive.)
Canadian Football League
The scored-against team may elect to either kick off, receive a kickoff, or scrimmage from the 35-yard line. The option of scrimmaging from the 35-yard line, first instituted in 1975, was eliminated in 2009, but the change proved unpopular and was reinstated the following year.
Football Canada
The scored-against team may elect to scrimmage the ball at its own 35-yard line, kick off from its own 35-yard line, or require the scoring team to kick off from its 45-yard line.[6]

Missed field goals

A missed field goal is said to be "no good" if the kicked ball does not cross between the uprights and over the crossbar of the goal posts. If it misses to the posts' left it may be called "wide left" and "wide right" if it misses to the posts' right. A field goal attempt may be described as "short" if it does not have sufficient distance to go over the cross bar. Some commentators will only describe a field goal attempt as being short if it appears to have been aimed correctly while others will describe an attempt appearing to lack both accuracy and distance as being both wide and short.

If a field goal attempt is missed and does not go out of bounds, a defensive player may catch the ball and return it, like a punt or kickoff. This type of play usually occurs during an extremely long field goal attempt due to the distance the defense must travel to reach the returner. If there is a significant likelihood of a miss and the strategic game situation warrants it, the defense places a player downfield, in or near their end zone, to catch the ball. The risk in this is that the return man may be tackled deep in his own territory, at a considerably worse position than he could have gotten by letting the ball go dead (see below); furthermore, should the returner fumble the ball, the kicking team can recover it and gain a new set of downs (the advantage is that the kicking team is lined up very close together to stop kick blockers, and not spread across the field like a kickoff or punt team, and is therefore in poor position to defend the return). Thus, teams will usually return a kick only towards the end of a half (when the kick will be the final play) or in a particularly desperate situation.

If a ball caroms off one of the goal posts or the crossbar, but lands in the field of play, the ball is considered dead and cannot be returned. (This is not the case in arena football, where large "rebound nets" surround the goal posts for the explicit purpose of keeping the ball in play.) However, if the ball caroms off one of the goal posts or the crossbar and continues into the goal, the score counts.

Situations where the defense does not return a missed field goal vary between leagues and levels of play:

National Football League
Missed field goals attempted from the defending team's 20-yard line or closer result in the defense taking possession at their 20-yard line. Missed field goals attempted from behind the 20-yard line result in the opposing team taking possession at the spot of the kick. (From 1974-1993, the opposing team would take possession at the line of scrimmage, unless the kick was attempted from inside the 20-yard line, in which case the opposing team would take possession at the 20-yard line. Prior to 1974, a missed field goal was treated the same as a punt, and the kicking team could down the ball in the field of play if it did not cross the goal line; if the unsuccessful attempt crossed the goal line, it was a touchback, unless the defense ran the ball out of the end zone.)
NCAA
The opposing team takes possession at the line of scrimmage rather than at the spot of the kick. If the line of scrimmage is inside the 20-yard line, the opposing team takes possession at the 20.
High school
Under NFHS (high school) rules (except in Massachusetts and Texas, which play largely by NCAA rules), a field goal attempt is no different from any other scrimmage kick (punt, drop kick). If the field goal attempt is no good and enters the end zone it is a touchback (NFHS rules do not allow a scrimmage kick or free kick to be advanced if it crosses the goal line). If the ball becomes dead on the field the defensive team will next put the ball in play from that point. If a field goal is blocked behind the line of scrimmage either team may pick it up and return it (see below).
Canadian football
If the defense does not return a missed field goal out of the end zone, or if a missed field goal attempt goes out the back of end zone, then the kicking team scores a single point. This sometimes results in the team on defense stationing their punter behind the goal posts to punt the ball out of the end zone, in case of a missed field-goal attempt, to preserve a victory or tie. Also, a missed field goal may be played by any onside player on the kicking team, (onside players being the kicker and anyone behind him at the time of the kick). It is risky to have anyone positioned behind the kicker when the ball is being kicked since those player(s) would be unable to help prevent the defending players from blocking the kick; however, on occasion teams might intentionally miss a field goal in hope of recovering the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. Returning a missed field goal is much more likely in Canadian football than in American rules for a few reasons. First, since the goal posts are on the goal line in front of a 20-yard end zone (rather than at the back of a 10-yard end zone), a missed field goal is much less likely to go out of bounds while in the air. Also, not returning the ball out of the end zone results in the defense conceding a single point, which may be crucial in a close game. Moreover, the wider field of the Canadian game makes the average return longer (in terms of yardage). However, many Canadian football coaches judge that conceding a single and taking possession at the 35-yard line is preferable to returning a missed field goal and avoiding a single at the cost of poor field position.

Blocked field goals

David Akers field goal blocked at Eagles at 49ers 10-12-08
The San Francisco 49ers block a field goal attempt by Philadelphia Eagles kicker David Akers on October 12, 2008, and return it for a touchdown.
Fresno State Texas Aggies Blocked Kick
The Fresno State Bulldogs block a Texas A&M field goal attempt.

Occasionally, the defense will succeed in blocking a field goal. If a blocked field goal is in or behind the neutral zone, it is treated like a fumble and can be advanced by either team. Beyond the neutral zone, a blocked kick is treated like a punt and can be advanced only by the defense, unless a defensive player fumbles the ball, after which an offensive player can advance it.

History

In the early days of football, kicking was highly emphasized. In 1883, the scoring system was devised, with field goals counting for 5 points, and touchdowns and conversions worth 4 apiece. In 1897, the touchdown was raised to 5 points while the conversion was lowered to 1 point. Field goals were devalued to 4 points in 1904, and then to the modern 3 points in 1909. The touchdown was changed to 6 points in 1912 in American football; the Canadian game followed suit in 1956.

The spot of the conversion has also changed through the years. In 1924, NCAA rules spotted the conversion at the 3-yard line, before moving it back to the 5-yard line in 1925. In 1929, the spot was moved up to the 2-yard line, which the NFL had done until 2014. In 1968, the NCAA diverged from the NFL rules in moving the spot back to the original 3-yard line. Canadian rules originally spotted the conversion at the 5-yard line, which remains closer than in the American code as the goalposts are at the front of the end zone. In 2015, to make conversion kicks harder, the NFL and CFL moved the spot of the kick to the 15 and 25-yard lines, respectively. In addition, the CFL moved the spot for a two-point conversion up to the 3-yard line to entice more teams to go for 2 points as opposed to one.

The goalposts were originally located on the goal line; this led to many injuries and sometimes interfered with play. The NCAA moved the goal posts to the rear of the end zone in 1927. The NFL (still following NCAA rules at the time) followed suit, but moved the posts back to the goal line starting in the 1932 NFL Playoff Game, a change made necessary by the size of the indoor Chicago Stadium and kept when the NFL rules stopped mirroring the NCAA rules in 1933. The NFL kept the post at the goal line until 1974, when they were moved back to the rear of the end zone. This was partly a result of the narrowed hashmark distance made in 1972, which had made for easier field-goal angles. The Canadian game still has posts on the goal line.

The width of the goalposts and the hashmarks have also varied throughout the years. In 1959, the NCAA goalposts were widened to 23 feet 4 inches (7.11 m), the standard width for high school posts today. In 1991, the college goalposts were reduced in width to 18 ft 6 in (5.64 m), matching the NFL. For the 1991 and 1992 seasons, this meant potentially severe angles for short field goal attempts, since the hashmark width remained at 53 ft 4 in (16.26 m). In 1993, the NCAA narrowed the distance between the hashmarks to 40 ft (12.19 m), matching what was the width of hashmarks in the NFL from 1945 through 1971; the NFL narrowed the hashmarks in 1972 to goalpost width at 18.5 feet (5.64 m). In the CFL, the hashmarks are 51 feet (16 m), but the field is 195 feet (59 m) in width, 35 feet (11 m) wider than the American field.

The NFL increased the height of the uprights above the crossbar to 20 feet (6.10 m) in 1966 and 30 feet (9.14 m) in 1974. In 2014, they were raised five feet to 35 feet (10.67 m) after the adoption of a proposal by New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.[7]

The "slingshot" goalpost, with a single post curving to support the crossbar, was invented by Jim Trimble and Joel Rottman in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.[8] The first were built by Alcan and displayed at Expo 67,[8][9] the World's fair in Montreal. The NFL had standardized the goalposts in 1966 and adopted the slingshot for the 1967 season;[8] the NCAA later adopted the same rule, but later allowed the use of "offset" goalposts, with two posts rather than one (which were the norm prior to the invention of the "slingshot" goalposts). The CFL was the first league to use the new goalposts; they made their debut in the 2nd game of the CFL's Eastern Conference final in 1966 (which was played at Montreal's Autostade as Landsdowne Park [now TD Place Stadium], the home of Ottawa Rough Riders, was undergoing renovations), and were used in the Grey Cup the next week at Vancouver's Empire Stadium. Three schools in Division I FBS currently use dual-support posts: Florida State, LSU, and Washington State. A special exemption was allowed by the NFL for the New Orleans Saints to use the offset goalposts during the 2005 season, when they used LSU's stadium for home games after Hurricane Katrina.

Goalposts at the professional level today are sometimes equipped with a camera mounted to the stanchion immediately behind the center of the crossbar. Since these cameras are both above and slightly behind the crossbar, a field goal attempt will be judged good if it strikes this equipment.

In 1989, the NCAA banned the kicking tee for field goals and extra points, requiring kicks from the ground.[10][11]

During the 2011 NFL season, a record 90 field goals of 50 yards or longer were made.[12] In 2012, this record was increased to 92 field goals of 50 yards or longer.[12]

Longest field goal records

As recorded in Guinness World Records:

The record for a field goal at any level is 69 yards. It was kicked by Ove Johansson of the Abilene Christian University Wildcats in the 1976 game against East Texas State University Lions (now Texas A&M University–Commerce) in Shotwell Stadium, Abilene, Texas.[13]

NFL

The longest field goal made was 64 yards by Matt Prater of the Denver Broncos.[14] The longest field goal attempt in an NFL game was 76 yards by Sebastian Janikowski on September 28, 2008.[15]

In the history of the NFL regular season, only 20 field goals have been made from at least 60 yards:[16]

Distance Kicker Team Result Opposition Date Notes Location Elevation Weather
64 yards Matt Prater Denver Broncos 51–28 Tennessee Titans December 8, 2013 End of 1st half Sports Authority Field at Mile High 5,200 ft (1,585 m) 13 °F (−11 °C); Sunny; Wind: S at 3 mph; Humidity: 72%
63 yards Tom Dempsey New Orleans Saints 19–17 Detroit Lions November 8, 1970 Born with a stub for a right foot. Game-winning kick as time expired. Detroit kicker Errol Mann had kicked a field goal with 0:11 remaining to give Lions the lead. Previous record was 56 yards in 1953.[17] Tulane Stadium 16 ft (5 m)
63 yards Jason Elam Denver Broncos 37–24 Jacksonville Jaguars October 25, 1998 First field goal to tie record; soccer-style kicker Mile High Stadium 5,200 ft (1,585 m)
63 yards Sebastian Janikowski Oakland Raiders 23–20 Denver Broncos September 12, 2011 Left-footed Sports Authority Field at Mile High 5,200 ft (1,585 m) Light rain early
63 yards David Akers San Francisco 49ers 30–22 Green Bay Packers September 9, 2012 Left-footed; end of first half; ball bounced off crossbar before crossing the plane Lambeau Field 640 ft (200 m) 70 °F (21 °C); Mostly Cloudy; Wind: N at 7 mph; Humidity: 43%
63 yards Graham Gano Carolina Panthers 33–31 New York Giants October 7, 2018 Game-winning field goal as time expired. Bank of America Stadium 751 ft (229 m) 88 °F (31 °C); Mostly Sunny; Wind: E at 6 mph; Humidity: 59%
62 yards Matt Bryant Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23–21 Philadelphia Eagles October 22, 2006 Game-winning kick as time expired Raymond James Stadium 35 ft (11 m)
62 yards Stephen Gostkowski New England Patriots 33–8 Oakland Raiders November 19, 2017 Right-footed; kicked as time expired at the end of the first half Azteca Stadium 7,280 ft (2,220 m) 63 °F (17 °C); Mostly Cloudy
62 yards Brett Maher Dallas Cowboys 29-23 (OT) Philadelphia Eagles December 9, 2018 Right-footed; kicked as first half ended AT&T Stadium 567 ft

(173 m)

Retractable Roof Closed
61 yards Sebastian Janikowski Oakland Raiders 9–23 Cleveland Browns December 27, 2009 Left-footed Cleveland Browns Stadium 580 ft (180 m)
61 yards Jay Feely Arizona Cardinals 16–19 (OT) Buffalo Bills October 14, 2012 Right-footed; longest game-tying field goal with 1:09 remaining in the 4th quarter, missed a 38-yard field goal that would have won the game at the end of regulation University of Phoenix Stadium 1,150 ft (350 m) Retractable roof closed
61 yards Justin Tucker Baltimore Ravens 18–16 Detroit Lions December 16, 2013 Right-footed; game-winning field goal with 43 seconds remaining; sixth field goal of the game Ford Field 601 ft (183 m)[18] Dome
61 yards Greg Zuerlein St. Louis Rams 18–21 (OT) Minnesota Vikings November 8, 2015 Right-footed TCF Bank Stadium 869 ft (265 m) 58 °F (14 °C); sunny
61 yards Jake Elliott Philadelphia Eagles 27–24 New York Giants September 24, 2017 Right-footed; game winning kick as time expired. Second game of NFL career. NFL rookie record for longest made field goal. Lincoln Financial Field 39 ft (12 m) 91 °F (33 °C); sunny
60 yards Steve Cox Cleveland Browns 9–12 Cincinnati Bengals October 21, 1984 Straight-ahead kick; on AstroTurf Riverfront Stadium 490 ft (150 m)
60 yards Morten Andersen New Orleans Saints 17–20 Chicago Bears October 27, 1991 Left-footed; on AstroTurf; first 60-yard kick done indoors Louisiana Superdome Sea level Dome
60 yards Rob Bironas Tennessee Titans 20–17 Indianapolis Colts December 3, 2006 Right-footed; game winner with six seconds remaining LP Field 400 ft (120 m)
60 yards Dan Carpenter Miami Dolphins 10–13 Cleveland Browns December 5, 2010 End of 1st half Sun Life Stadium 5 ft (1.5 m) 77 °F (25 °C), wind SW at 14 mph (23 km/h)
60 yards Greg Zuerlein St. Louis Rams 19–13 Seattle Seahawks September 30, 2012 In his rookie season; longest field goal in third quarter; also kicked a 58-yard field goal in the first quarter Edward Jones Dome 466 ft (142 m) Dome
60 yards Chandler Catanzaro Arizona Cardinals 18–33 Buffalo Bills September 25, 2016 Longest field goal in career New Era Field 600 ft (180 m)

Prior to Dempsey's 1970 kick, the longest field goal in NFL history was 56 yards, by Bert Rechichar of the Baltimore Colts in 1953.[17][19] A 55-yard field goal, achieved by a drop kick, was recorded by Paddy Driscoll in 1924, and stood as the unofficial record until that point; some sources indicate a 54-yarder by Glenn Presnell in 1934 as the record,[19] due to the inability to precisely verify Driscoll's kick.

In a pre-season NFL game between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks on August 29, 2002, Ola Kimrin kicked a 65-yard field goal.[20] However, because pre-season games are not counted toward official records, this accomplishment is not the official record.

CFL

College football

  • 69 yards, Ove Johansson, Abilene Christian vs. East Texas State on October 16, 1976. (NAIA)
  • 67 yards, Tom Odle, Fort Hays State vs. Washburn, 1988. (NCAA)
  • 67 yards, Joe Williams, Wichita State vs. Southern Illinois, 1978. (NCAA Division I)
  • 67 yards, Russell Erxleben, Texas vs. Rice, 1977. (NCAA Division I)
  • 67 yards, Steve Little, Arkansas vs. Texas, 1977.[22] (NCAA Division I)
  • 65 yards, J. T. Haxall, Princeton vs. Yale, 1882.

All of the above kicks were successful with the use of a kicking tee, which was banned by the NCAA after the 1988 season.

The longest known drop-kicked field goal in college football was a 62-yard kick from Pat O'Dea, an Australian kicker who played on the Wisconsin Badgers football team. O'Dea's kick took place in a blizzard against Northwestern on November 15, 1898.[24]

U Sports

The longest field goal in U Sports football history is 59 yards, by Niko Difonte of Calgary Dinos, playing against the UBC Thunderbirds on November 11, 2017. The field goal was the final and winning play of the 81st Hardy Cup.[25][26]

High school

Independent amateur

  • 68 yards, Fabrizio Scaccia, Treasure Coast Bobcats (FL), March 29, 2009[32] (world record for a kick without the aid of a tee, which was banned for field goal and extra point attempts in the NCAA in 1989)

Independent Women's Football League

Longest missed field goal return records

NFL

Field goal returns are rare in the NFL, since an attempt with sufficient distance that misses the uprights will automatically be dead. Returns are possible when a field goal is short, but in that case returners will usually down the ball so as to scrimmage from the spot of the kick. Normally, a return will only be attempted when there is not enough time left in the half to run a play from scrimmage. Nevertheless, four field goals have been returned for at least 107 yards in the 21st century:

Distance returned Returner Team Opposing kicker Opposing team Distance attempted Date Location
109 yards[34] Antonio Cromartie San Diego Chargers Ryan Longwell Minnesota Vikings 58 yards November 4, 2007 Metrodome
108 yards[35] Devin Hester Chicago Bears Jay Feely New York Giants 52 yards November 12, 2006 Giants Stadium
108 yards[36] Nathan Vasher Chicago Bears Joe Nedney San Francisco 49ers 52 yards November 13, 2005 Soldier Field
107 yards[37] Chris McAlister Baltimore Ravens Jason Elam Denver Broncos 57 yards September 30, 2002 Ravens Stadium

CFL

Because the goalposts in Canadian football are on the goal line, and because downing the ball in the end zone results in the kicking team scoring a single point, field goal returns are much more common. The longest missed field goal return in the CFL is 131 total yards. Against the Montreal Alouettes on August 22, 1958, the Toronto Argonauts' Boyd Carter ran 15 yards, then threw a lateral to Dave Mann, who then returned it for the final 116 yards.[38] This return, which started 21 yards behind the goal line, was during the era of 25-yard end zones (which made the maximum theoretical missed field return distance 134 yards in those days) and therefore cannot be met or exceeded on the modern field with 20-yard end zones. Since the shortening of the end zones in the CFL in 1986, a field goal has been returned for the maximum 129 yards on four occasions: by Bashir Levingston of the Toronto Argonauts on June 28, 2007,[39] by Dominique Dorsey also of the Toronto Argonauts on August 2, 2007,[40] by Tristan Jackson of the Saskatchewan Roughriders on July 14, 2012 [41] and by Trent Guy of the Montreal Alouettes on September 23, 2012.[42]

NCAA

In NCAA college football, only five missed field goals returns for touchdowns have ever been returned 100 yards or more:[43]

U Sports

In U Sports football, like in the CFL, the longest possible missed field goal return is 129 yards, and this has occurred three times.[26]

References

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  2. ^ a b Battista, Judy (November 6, 2011). "Kickers Are Becoming Can't-Miss Performers". The New York Times. p. SP4. Archived from the original on November 14, 2011. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
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  13. ^ See the article on Johansson.
  14. ^ "Matt Prater breaks field-goal record with 64-yarder". nfl.com. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
  15. ^ Chase, Chris. "Raiders attempt 76-yard field goal". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  16. ^ "Long field goals". www.profootballhof.com. November 8, 2016. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
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  18. ^ "Ford Field". Sports Venue info. Archived from the original on December 17, 2013. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
  19. ^ a b "Colts jolt Bears, 13-9, get record 56-yard field goal". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. September 28, 1953. p. 2, part 2.
  20. ^ "Living With 63 Yards – And Beyond". ESPN. November 4, 2010. Retrieved September 18, 2011.
  21. ^ a b CFL, "Regular Season All-Time Records", retrieved February 9, 2011.
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  36. ^ "Vasher's 108-yard return lifts Bears over 49ers". Associated Press. ESPN. November 13, 2005. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
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  41. ^ http://cfl.ca/video/index/id/76119
  42. ^ http://cfl.ca/article/hes-the-guy-129-yard-touchdown-seals-win-for-als
  43. ^ a b c "How rare is missed field goal returned for touchdown?". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. December 2, 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  44. ^ Low, Chris (August 1, 2011). "Yards to Glory, SEC version". ESPN. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  45. ^ Bacon, John (December 2, 2013). "Auburn-Alabama: The Greatest Play in College Football History?". Here&Now. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
  46. ^ Vaccaro, Mike (November 30, 2013). "Auburn-Alabama is greatest ending in sports history". New York Post. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
  47. ^ DeMarchi, John (December 2, 2013). "Is the 2013 Iron Bowl (Alabama vs. Auburn) the Most Dramatic Finish to a Football Game of All-Time?". Huffington Post. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
  48. ^ Lupica, Mike (December 1, 2013). "End of Auburn vs. Alabama is one second in college football that will be talked about forever". New York Daily News. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
  49. ^ "Oklahoma vs. Houston - Play-By-Play - September 3, 2016 - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2016-09-05.

External links

1998 NFC Championship Game

The 1998 NFC Championship Game was a National Football League (NFL) game played on January 17, 1999, to determine the National Football Conference (NFC) champion for the 1998 NFL season. The visiting Atlanta Falcons defeated the heavily favored Minnesota Vikings 30–27 in sudden death overtime to win their first conference championship and advance to the franchise's first Super Bowl appearance. As a result of their loss, the Vikings were eliminated from the playoffs and became the first team in the history of the NFL to compile a regular season record of 15–1 and not win the Super Bowl.The game is considered one of the most memorable conference championship games in NFL history. In 1998, the Vikings were the favorite to win the Super Bowl, as they had set the NFL record for most points scored by a team in a single season. They had gone undefeated in their home stadium, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, during the regular season, and their placekicker, Gary Anderson, had become the first kicker in NFL history to convert every field goal and extra point attempt in a season. At a critical moment late in the game, Anderson missed a field goal for the first time that year, which, if converted, would have given the Vikings a nearly insurmountable 10-point lead. Instead, the Falcons scored a touchdown to tie the game on their ensuing drive and subsequently won by a field goal in overtime. Due to its impact on the game's outcome, Anderson's missed field goal has since become the focal point of the loss.The Falcons lost 34–19 to the Denver Broncos two weeks later in Super Bowl XXXIII. Neither the Falcons nor the Vikings would return to the Super Bowl until the 2016 NFL season, when the Falcons lost in overtime to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. Although the game long stood as the proudest moment in the history of the Falcons franchise, the 1998 NFC Championship Game has been remembered for the effect it had on the Vikings players and their fan base, as it is seen by some sportswriters as one of the most devastating losses in NFL history.

2006 Indianapolis Colts season

The 2006 Indianapolis Colts season was the franchise's 54th season in the National Football League and 23rd in Indianapolis. The season began with the team trying to maintain or improve on their regular season record of 14–2 from the 2005 season, and advance further into the playoffs. The Colts failed to improve on their 14-2 record, finishing 12-4. However, they did improve upon their postseason performance, winning Super Bowl XLI.

For the fourth consecutive season, the Colts had won 12 or more games. They also won the AFC South Division Championship for the fourth time in a row, and they won the American Football Conference Championship, beating the New England Patriots 38–34 to advance to Super Bowl XLI, in which they dominated the Chicago Bears, winning 29–17 on February 4, 2007, at Dolphin Stadium. This was the franchise's first Super Bowl since Super Bowl V in 1970, and first since relocating to Indianapolis. It was their fourth world championship (1958, 1959, 1970, and 2006.)

The 2006 Colts surrendered 5.33 rushing yards per attempt, by far the worst since the merger, and seventh-worst in NFL history. Still, the Colts won the championship with the help of the most statistically efficient offense in the league.

2008–09 NFL playoffs

The National Football League playoffs for the 2008 season began on January 3, 2009. The postseason tournament concluded with the Pittsburgh Steelers defeating the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII, 27–23, on February 1, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

Adam Vinatieri

Adam Matthew Vinatieri (born December 28, 1972) is an American football placekicker for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League (NFL). He has played in five Super Bowls: four with the New England Patriots and one with the Colts, winning with the Patriots in 2001, 2003, and 2004 and with the Colts in 2006. He holds the NFL record for most Super Bowl wins by a kicker. He also holds NFL records, among all players, for most points scored (2,600), most postseason points scored (238), most field goals made (582), and most overtime field goals made (12). He is the only player ever to score 1,000 points with two teams. As of 2018, Vinatieri, 46, is the oldest active player in the NFL and 4th oldest of all time. Due to his numerous accolades and records, Vinatieri is considered to be one of the greatest kickers in NFL history.

Noted for his kicking accuracy and success under pressure, Vinatieri has converted several of the most crucial field goals in NFL history, including the game-tying and winning kicks in blizzard conditions in the infamous "Tuck Rule Game", and game-winning kicks in the final seconds of two Super Bowls (XXXVI and XXXVIII).

American Football League playoffs

For its first nine seasons, 1960 through 1968, the American Football League determined its champion via a single playoff game between the winners of its two divisions (although ties in the standings in 1963 (Eastern) and 1968 (Western) necessitated a tiebreaker divisional playoff game the week before).

In 1969, the tenth and final year of the independent ten-team AFL, a four-team playoff was held, with the second-place teams in each division traveling to play the winner of the other division in what were called the "Interdivisional" playoffs. These playoffs were not, and are not considered to have been, "wildcard" playoffs since the runners-up in both divisions qualified, rather the two best non-division winners. (Had the 1969 playoffs been true wildcard playoffs, the Western's third-place team, San Diego (8–6–0), would have qualified while the Eastern's runner-up, Houston (6–6–2), would not have.) The 1969 AFL playoffs were only the second time a U.S. major professional football league allowed teams other than the first place teams (including ties) to compete in post-season playoffs (the first was the seven-team All-America Football Conference's 1949 four-team playoff).

Prior to the advent of the Super Bowl for the 1966 season, the AFL went to great lengths to avoid scheduling its playoffs head-to-head with the NFL. In 1960, the NFL's game was held on Monday, December 26; the AFL had that week off, and played its title contest on Sunday, January 1, as the college bowl games were played on Monday. In 1961 and 1962, the AFL played its game during the off-week between the end of the NFL's regular season and its title game (thus resulting in the AFL holding championship games on December 24, 1961, and December 23, 1962, a week before the NFL's games of December 31, 1961, and December 30, 1962). In 1963, the AFL held its Eastern Division tiebreaker playoff on Saturday, December 28, 1963, thereby avoiding the NFL championship game that Sunday (the AFL championship game was held on January 5). In 1964, pro football had a championship weekend, with the AFL's title game held on Saturday, December 26, and the NFL championship on Sunday. For 1965, the AFL tried to return to the practice of playing its game on a Sunday during the off-week between the NFL playoff, slating its championship contest for December 26, while the NFL's game was not held until January 2, 1966; unfortunately, the Colts and Packers required a Western Conference tiebreaker on the December 26, date --- and since that game went to overtime, the TV audience for the Bills–Chargers title game in San Diego was diminished considerably. Even in 1966, the AFL originally scheduled its championship game for the off-week, planning to hold its playoff on Monday, December 26, six days before the NFL title game on January 1.

Negotiations prior to the first Super Bowl, in early December 1966, resulted in the two leagues agreeing to have championship doubleheaders for the next four years, with each holding its title game on the same day but staggered, so that television audiences could view both. Thus the final four AFL championship games were held on the same day as the NFL championship game: January 1, 1967; December 31, 1967; December 29, 1968; and January 4, 1970.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame and the National Football League include AFL playoffs in their statistics for the NFL playoffs.

Assist (basketball)

In basketball, an assist is attributed to a player who passes the ball to a teammate in a way that leads to a score by field goal, meaning that he or she was "assisting" in the basket. There is some judgment involved in deciding whether a passer should be credited with an assist. An assist can be scored for the passer even if the player who receives the pass makes a basket after dribbling the ball. However, the original definition of an assist did not include such situations, so the comparison of assist statistics across eras is a complex matter.

Only the pass directly before the score may be counted as an assist, so no more than one assist can be recorded per field goal (unlike in other sports, such as ice hockey). A pass that leads to a shooting foul and scoring by free throws does not count as an assist in the NBA, but does in FIBA play (only one assist is awarded per set of free throws in which at least one free throw is made).

Point guards tend to get the most assists per game (apg), as their role is primarily that of a passer and ballhandler.

Centers tend to get fewer assists, but centers with good floor presence and court vision can dominate a team by assisting. Being inside the key, the center often has the best angles and the best position for "dishes" and other short passes in the scoring area. Center Wilt Chamberlain led the NBA in assists in 1968. A strong center with inside-scoring prowess, such as former NBA center Hakeem Olajuwon, can also be an effective assistor because the defense's double-teaming tends to open up offense in the form of shooters.

The NBA single-game assist team record is 53, held by the Milwaukee Bucks, on December 26, 1978. The NBA single-game assist individual record is 30, held by Scott Skiles of the Orlando Magic on December 30, 1990.

The NBA record for most career assists is held by John Stockton, with 15,806, Stockton also holds the NBA single season assist per game record with 14.5 during the 1989-1990 regular season. The highest career assist per game average in NBA history is held by Magic Johnson, with 11.2 assist per game.

Block (basketball)

In basketball, a block or blocked shot occurs when a defensive player legally deflects a field goal attempt from an offensive player to prevent a score. The defender is not allowed to make contact with the offensive player's hand (unless the defender is also in contact with the ball) or a foul is called. In order to be legal, the block must occur while the shot is traveling upward or at its apex. A deflected field goal that is made does not count as a blocked shot and simply counts as a successful field goal attempt for shooter plus the points awarded to the shooting team. For the shooter, a blocked shot is counted as a missed field goal attempt. Also, on a shooting foul, a blocked shot cannot be awarded or counted, even if the player who deflected the field goal attempt is different from the player who committed the foul. If the ball is heading downward when the defender hits it, it is ruled as goaltending and counts as a made basket. Goaltending is also called if the block is made after the ball bounces on the backboard (NFHS excepted; the NCAA also used this rule until the 2009–10 season).

Nicknames for blocked shots include "rejections," "stuffs," "bushed", "fudged", or notably "double-fudged" (two-handed blocks), "facials," "swats," "denials," and "packs." Blocked shots were first officially recorded in the NBA during the 1973–74 season.

Largely due to their height and position near the basket, centers and power forwards tend to record the most blocks, but shorter players with good jumping ability can also be blockers, an example being Dwyane Wade, the shortest player, at 6'4", to record 100 blocked shots in a single season. A player with the ability to block shots can be a positive asset to a team's defense, as they can make it difficult for opposing players to shoot near the basket and by keeping the basketball in play, as opposed to swatting it out of bounds, a blocked shot can lead to a fast break, a skill Bill Russell was notable for. To be a good shot-blocker, a player needs great court sense and timing, and good height or jumping ability. One tactic is that a shot-blocker can intimidate opponents to alter their shots, resulting in a miss.

David Akers

David Roy Akers (; born December 9, 1974) is a former American football placekicker. He played college football at Louisville, and was signed by the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent in 1997.

Akers also played for the Carolina Panthers, Washington Redskins, Berlin Thunder, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, and Detroit Lions. He was selected for the Pro Bowl six times in his career and was at one point tied for the longest field goal in NFL history when he kicked a 63-yard field goal with the San Francisco 49ers. His retirement on October 23, 2017 made him the last Eagle from the Super Bowl XXXIX team to retire from the NFL.

Drop goal

A drop goal, field goal, dropped goal, or pot is a method of scoring points in rugby union and rugby league and also, rarely, in American football and Canadian football.

A drop goal is scored by drop kicking the ball over the crossbar and between the goalposts. After the kick, the ball must not touch the ground before it goes over and through, although it may touch the crossbar.

If the drop goal attempt is successful, play stops and the non-scoring team (the scoring team in rugby union sevens) restarts play with a kick from halfway. If the kick is unsuccessful, the offside rules for a kick apply and play continues until a normal stoppage occurs. Because of the scoring attempt this is usually from the kicked ball going dead or into touch. Defenders may tackle the kicker while he is in possession of the ball, or attempt to charge down or block the kick.

Field goal (basketball)

A field goal can be simply known as this: if it is in or on the 2 pointer line, it is 2 points, and if it is beyond the 2 pointer line, it is 3 points. This is also how FIBA, NBA, and all professional basketball is played.

In basketball, a field goal is a basket scored on any shot or tap other than a free throw, worth two or three points depending on the distance of the attempt from the basket. Uncommonly, a field goal can be worth other values such as one point in FIBA 3x3 basketball competitions or four points in the BIG3 basketball league. "Field goal" is the official terminology used by the National Basketball Association (NBA) in their rule book, in their box scores and statistics, and in referees' rulings. The same term is also the official wording used by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and high school basketball.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the NBA record for field goals made in a career with 15,837. Wilt Chamberlain, one of the most prolific scorers of all time, holds the top four spots for most field goals made in a season and has the two top field goal percentages for a season. One of the greatest field-goal shooters of all time is Michael Jordan, who led the NBA in field goals made ten times. Shaquille O'Neal has the record for most seasons (10) with the best field goal percentage, and Artis Gilmore has the record for highest career field goal percentage (59.9%). Steve Nash was one of the greatest all-around shooters in the history of the NBA, holding the record for 50–40–90 seasons, a mark of all-around shooting for two-point field goals, three-point field goals, and free throws. Nash recorded four of the eleven 50–40–90 seasons in NBA history.One type of field goal is called a slam dunk. This occurs when a player jumps near the basket with possession of the ball, throwing the ball down through the basket while airborne. The word "slam" is derived onomatopoeically from the sound of the player's hands hitting, grabbing, then releasing the hoop.

Field goal percentage

Field goal percentage in basketball is the ratio of field goals made to field goals attempted. Its abbreviation is FG%. Although three-point field goal percentage is often calculated separately, three-point field goals are included in the general field goal percentage. Instead of using scales of 0 to 100%, the scale .000 to 1.000 is commonly used. A higher field goal percentage denotes higher efficiency. In basketball, a FG% of .500 (50%) or above is considered a good percentage, although this criterion does not apply equally to all positions. Guards usually have lower FG% than forwards and centers. Field goal percentage does not completely tell the skill of a player, but a low field goal percentage can indicate a poor offensive player or a player who takes many difficult shots. In the NBA, Center Shaquille O'Neal had a high career FG% (around .580) because he played near the basket making many high percentage layups and dunks. Guard Allen Iverson often had a low FG% (around .420) because he took the bulk of his team's shot attempts, even with high difficulty shots.

The NBA career record for field goal percentage is held by DeAndre Jordan at 0.671. The highest field goal percentage for a single season was set by Wilt Chamberlain with 0.727 in the 1972–73 season.

Field goal percentages were substantially lower in the NBA until the mid-to-late 1960s. For this reason, many early NBA stars have low field goal percentages, such as Bob Cousy at .375, and George Mikan, Bob Pettit, and Bill Russell, whose career field goal percentages of .404, .436, and .440, respectively, are much lower than later post players.Three-point field goal percentage is usually kept as additional statistics. Its abbreviation is 3FG%. A 3FG% of .400 and above is a very good percentage.

Jason Elam

Jason Elam (born March 8, 1970) is a former American football placekicker. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the third round of the 1993 NFL Draft and played 15 seasons with the Broncos and two with the Atlanta Falcons.A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Elam won two Super Bowl rings with the Broncos and was tied with Tom Dempsey, Sebastian Janikowski and David Akers for the longest field goal in NFL history at 63 yards before it was broken by another Bronco, Matt Prater, on December 8, 2013, with a 64-yard field goal.

Mason Crosby

Mason Walker Crosby (born September 3, 1984) is an American football placekicker for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Colorado, and earned unanimous All-American honors. The Packers chose him in the sixth round of the 2007 NFL Draft, and he was a member of the Packers' Super Bowl XLV championship team against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Matt Prater

Matthew Phillip Prater (born August 10, 1984) is an American football placekicker for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Central Florida, and was originally signed by the Lions as an undrafted free agent in 2006. Prater holds the NFL record for kicking the longest field goal (64 yards), which he set on December 8, 2013, as a member of the Denver Broncos in a game against the Tennessee Titans in the first half as time expired. He also holds the Detroit Lions franchise record for longest field goal (59 yards), which he set on January 3, 2016. He was cut by the Denver Broncos after completing a suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. With the Lions in the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Prater set the NFL records for consecutive field goal conversions of 50+ yards (14 field goals) and 55+ yards (seven field goals).

Placekicker

Placekicker, or simply kicker (PK or K), is the player in American and Canadian football who is responsible for the kicking duties of field goals and extra points. In many cases, the placekicker also serves as the team's kickoff specialist or punter as well.

Point (basketball)

Points in basketball are used to keep track of the score in a game. Points can be accumulated by making field goals (two or three points) or free throws (one point). If a player makes a field goal from within the three-point line, the player scores two points. If the player makes a field goal from beyond the three-point line, the player scores three points. The team that has recorded the most points at the end of a game is declared that game's winner.

Sebastian Janikowski

Sebastian Paweł Janikowski (Polish pronunciation: [sɛˈbastjan janiˈkɔfskʲi]; born March 2, 1978) is a Polish-born American football placekicker who is currently a free agent. In 2008 Sebastain Janikowski attempted a 76 yard field goal vs San Diego. He played college football for Florida State University, and was a two-time consensus All-America. He was drafted by the Oakland Raiders 17th overall in the 2000 NFL draft, only the third time a kicker was taken in the first round. He has the nickname "Seabass".On September 12, 2011, in a Monday Night Football game against the Denver Broncos, he tied the previous NFL record for the longest field goal at 63 yards, sharing the record with Tom Dempsey, Jason Elam, Graham Gano, and David Akers. The record stood for just over two years when it was broken by Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater on December 8, 2013. Janikowski also holds the record for most games played with the Raiders; at the end of the 2017 season he had played 268 games with the team.

Three-point field goal

A three-point field goal (also 3-pointer or informally, trey) is a field goal in a basketball game made from beyond the three-point line, a designated arc surrounding the basket. A successful attempt is worth three points, in contrast to the two points awarded for field goals made within the three-point line and the one point for each made free throw.

The distance from the basket to the three-point line varies by competition level: in the National Basketball Association (NBA) the arc is 23 feet 9 inches (7.24 m) from the center of the basket; in FIBA and the WNBA the arc is 6.75 metres or 22 feet 1 3⁄4 inches; and in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) the arc is 20 feet 9 inches (6.32 m). In the NBA and FIBA/WNBA, the three-point line becomes parallel to each sideline at the points where the arc is 3 feet (0.91 m) from each sideline; as a result the distance from the basket gradually decreases to a minimum of 22 feet (6.71 m). In the NCAA the arc is continuous for 180° around the basket. There are more variations (see main article).

In 3x3, a FIBA-sanctioned variant of the half-court 3-on-3 game, the same line exists, but shots from behind it are only worth 2 points with all other shots worth 1 point.

Wide Right (Buffalo Bills)

Wide Right, a.k.a. 47 Wide Right, was Scott Norwood's missed 47-yard field goal attempt for the Buffalo Bills at the end of Super Bowl XXV on January 27, 1991, as described by sportscaster Al Michaels. The missed field goal resulted in the game being won by the New York Giants. The phrase "wide right" has since become synonymous with the game itself, and has since been used in other sports. This game is also called The Miss by some Bills fans.

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