Reception (gridiron football)

In American football and Canadian football, a reception, also known informally as a catch, is part of a play in which a forward pass from behind the line of scrimmage is received (caught) by a player in bounds, who, after the catch, proceeds to either score a touchdown or be downed. Yards gained from the receiving play are credited to the receiver as receiving yards. If such a pass is not caught by the receiver, it is called an incomplete pass or simply an incompletion.

A reception should not be confused with a lateral, also known as a lateral pass or backward pass, which occurs when the ball is thrown backwards or sideways to a teammate (that is, no part of the pass trajectory is toward the opponent's goal line).

Napoleon McCallum at practice (cropped)
A player prepares to make a reception

See also


Reception is a noun form of receiving, or to receive something, such as information, art, experience, or people. It is often used in the following contexts:

In telecommunications, the action of an electronic receiver, such as for radio or remote control (a good signal allows for clear reception)

Television reception

A formal party in the evening, such as a wedding reception, where the guests are "received" (welcomed) by the hosts and guests of honor

The Rite of Reception, where the body of the deceased is formally received at the church or other place of worship prior to the Mass or main service

Receptionist, the initial contact in an office

Reception (gridiron football), a type of play where the ball is received (caught) by a player on the thrower's team

Reception (school), in England, Wales and South Australia, the first year of primary school, following pre-school or nursery school

Reception (astrology), in astrology, where one planet is located in a sign where a second planet has astrological dignity

Doctrine of reception in English law

Reception statute, a law passed by a former British colony that provides for the adoption of pre-independence English common law where not superseded by the local constitution or legislature

Aesthetics and popularity

Reception (film), a 2011 short film

The Reception (film), a 2005 film

Levels of play
Play clock

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