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Subject: From somone who has no idea how American football works, an onside kick question rss

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Ian Collier
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I understand that at the start the defence kicks the ball over to the offence, and this establishers which yardline they begin the 1st down on. Touchback gets you a safe 20 yards, running it out gambles a bit for either a better or worse yardage at the beginning of the 1st down. But with this the defence player doesn't actually 'do' anything, the offence players makes their choice.

But with an onside kick, where they try and get the ball back and become the offence, the risk for the defence player is that they will fail on the attempt and the offence will start the 1st down even further forward thatn they would have anyway? So the ball starts at the 30 yard line on the offence side and moves towards the defence, who then may or may not recover the ball and turn offence? But if it goes wrong on the roll then the offence gets a really good start on the 1st down, right? Or does the ball start at the 30 yard line on the defence side and moves towards the offence?
 
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Luke
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It sounds like you've got it right.

With an onside kick, the kicking team is attempting to maintain possession of the ball. They must kick the ball off, but once it has travelled at least ten yards or been touched by a member of the receiving team, it is a free ball recoverable by either team.

The risk for the kicking team is that they will give the ball to the receiving team in great field position, generally on the kicking team's side of the field.

You will usually see the onside kick performed by a team attempting to make up a large deficit when time is running low in the game.
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Ian Collier
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Gotcha, I just watched some onside kicks on youtube. It looks like an angled kick to keep the ball close to the defence so they can grab it and turn offence. So I suppose the ball starts at the 30 yard line on the defence side then moves forward in accordance with rolls, but it can backfire massively and give the offence possession well into the defence's half.

You know, 30 mins ago I had never used any of these terms, how am I doing?

Thanks for the quick reply by the way!
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Bill Bennett
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I think you're doing great! One thing to note, you'll never hear either team referred to as being on offense or defense during a kickoff; it's just the kicking team vs. the receiving team.

Also, in the real NFL, 30 yard line kickoffs are so last season. shake
 
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Ian Collier
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Got it, kicking and receiving. Have been really keen to get to grips with the rules of football for a long time, this game is really helping (four downs to achieve ten yards, the risk inherent in going for a play on the fourth down rather than punting it, unless you try a sneak of course).
 
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lonnie kim
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in case you are interested, the following has nothing to do with boardgames but only with actual american football:

whenever the kicking team kicks off, the ball is live. so if they kick it really long, but nobody picks it up, the kicking team is free to pick it up and go.

this is different from a punt. a punt is not 'live' in the same way. if you kick a punt, and the receiving team lets it roll, the kicking team can not pick it up and go. if the kicking team touches it first, the ball stops there.

why does this matter? it doesnt really. but it does help you understand that an onside kick does not really require all new rules. a kick-off is always a live ball. an onside kick is just kicking it short hoping that you can get to it first.

no matter if you kick it 10 yards, 30 yards, or 60 yards, whoever gets to the ball first can pick it up and go.
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Michael Swanson
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The kicking team may recover a kick after the kick has traveled 10 yards, but they may not advance a kick.

Also on a punt, if the kicking team does not secure the ball and just touches the ball, the receiving team may then pick it up and return the ball without risk ....unless the receiving team commits a penalty at some time during the play.

Just some food for thought.
 
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Ian Collier
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So how risky is punting, in reality? Someone told me that you should always punt on the 4th down (again, in reality and not in this BG) - really??

Out of interest, how often does a team playing defence manage to get posession and score a touchdown before the ball is officially turned over and they become offence?
 
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David Winter
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Someone gave me 88gg for a rules translation and all I got was this lousy overtext
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inuitmyth909 wrote:
So how risky is punting, in reality? Someone told me that you should always punt on the 4th down (again, in reality and not in this BG) - really??

Out of interest, how often does a team playing defence manage to get posession and score a touchdown before the ball is officially turned over and they become offence?


on 4th down first choice is usually field goal if within kicking range, punt if not.

Situations where a team might "go for it" on fourth down include.

Very short distance needed (less than 1 yard)
Far behind in score, with low game time left
Ahead in score with low time left, in an effort to run out the clock without giving the other team another chance at offence.
You also rarely see "fake punts" where a team will line up exactly like they are going to punt but then pass or run the ball, you don't usually see this more than 1-2 times in a typica NFL season

In general I find players of board games and video games are more likely to gamble on 4th down that real teams.

For the defense to score a touchdown it will either be an interception which is returned into the end zone or a recovered fumble. Not too uncommon something that could happen in any typical match.
Records for a single season for one team are 4 fumble recoveries for TD, and 9 interceptions returned for TD.

Edit: Record for most defensive touchdowns in a single game is 4, baltimore vs ny jets in 2011
 
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Lawrence Davis
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inuitmyth909 wrote:
So how risky is punting, in reality? Someone told me that you should always punt on the 4th down (again, in reality and not in this BG) - really??
You should always punt on 4th down unless: your team is in Field Goal range or the offense is close enough to maybe score a Touchdown, or time is running out and your team is behind and you need to score. Field Goal Range varies alot and depends on how good your Field Goal kicker is. Close enough to score a TD is usually inside the 3yd line of the opponent or closer. If time is running out and your team is behind you may decide to go for it on 4th down almost anywhere on the field including close to your own team's goal line.
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Out of interest, how often does a team playing defence manage to get posession and score a touchdown before the ball is officially turned over and they become offence?
not sure what you mean here
 
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