Sporting Charts

Punt

What does Punt Mean?

This is a football term defined as the act of kicking the ball in a similar manner to a drop-kick, except a punt occurs before the ball hits the ground. The punter catches the ball and drops it towards their foot in order to kick it down the field to the other team. A punt will occur is a team has reached fourth down and has decided that instead of attempting to go for a first down, they will give the ball back to the other team by using a punt. This enables the team to push the ball farther down the field, farther away from the end-zone on which their opposition is attempting to score. When a punt play is called in, the opposing team will place a punt returner at the far end of the field where they predict the kick will come down. Once caught, the player may attempt to run the ball and improve their team's field position. This is known as a punt return.


Sporting Charts explains Punt

The rules governing a punt have changed as the game has changed over the past few decades. One rule that has been in place for a long time is one which prevents a defender from making contact with the punter, especially their legs. A punter typically wears no pads on their legs, and they have no immediate protection once a defender breaks through the line of scrimmage. As such, they are extremely susceptible to injury. Another rule recently introduced is the fair catch rule, which allows a punt or kick returner to signal a fair catch. If a fair catch is signaled, the player must catch the ball and once they do, the play is dead and the ball is marked down at the spot of the catch.

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