A measurement of the amount of time between when a punter kicks a ball and the ball either strikes the ground or is received by an opposing player. Good punters can balance distance with hang time in order to give their team an advantage. When a punt has good hang time, it allows the kick coverage team to run down the field and limit the returner's ability to gain yardage after the kick.
Good punters will attempt to maximize their hang time in order to give their special teams an advantage. Punts with little hang time are easier for the opposing team to return, since the coverage team cannot get downfield in time to cut off the returner. Ideally, the punter will not only kick the ball with a great deal of hang time, but will also place the ball near a sideline. A hang time above four seconds is generally considered to be very good.