• Sports News
  • NFL
  • How do you get a free kick in the NFL?
Baltimore Ravens Kicker Justin Tucker

How do you get a free kick in the NFL?

According to Rule 6, Section 1, Article 1 of the NFL rulebook, a free kick is a kickoff or safety kick that puts the ball in play to start a free kick down. It must be made from any point on the kicking team's restraining line and between the inbound lines. The kickoff puts the ball in play at the start of each half, after a try, and after a successful field goal. A safety kick puts the ball in play after a safety.

There is a lot that comes along with a free kick in the NFL. Lets take a deep dive into the NFL rulebook and look at the sixth rule - Free Kicks.


NFL rulebook Rule 6: Free Kicks

Section 1: Procedures for a Free Kick

-- Article 1 Free Kick: An NFL free kick consists of a kickoff and a safety kick. The differences between the kickoff and safety kick are the restraining line and a tee. An NFL tee cannot be used during a safety kick but can be used during the kickoff.

-- Article 2 Restraining Lines: Unless there is a distance penalty, the ball is set at the 35 yard line for kickoffs and the 20 yard line for the safety kick. Both the kickoff and safety kick have restraining lines for both receiving and kicking team. On both kicks the receiving team must be 10 yards from the kicking team restraining line.


-- Article 3 Free Kick Formation: Every player on the kicking team must have one foot on a line that is one yard away from the restraining line. The only player that this rule doesn't apply to is the kicker. Eight players on the receiving team must be set up in the safety zone.

-- Article 4 Catch or Recovery of a Free Kick: As soon as the receiving team catches the ball they may start to proceed in running the football. When it comes to recovering the ball, the kicking team can only recover the ball after it crosses the restraining line or the receiving team touches the ball. If the ball comes to a rest anywhere on the field and no player attempts to recover it then the ball becomes dead and belongs to the receiving team.

-- Article 5 Free Kick Crosses Goal Line: If the football crosses the goal line then it is recorded as a touchback.


-- Article 6 End of Free Kick: The free kick ends when either the receiving or kicking team possesses the ball or when the ball is dead.

There are a ton of different rules that go along with the free kick. The first section is the most important if an NFL fan is trying to find out what a free kick is and how it happens.


Quick Links

Edited by
Prem Deshpande
See more
More from Sportskeeda