This is a term used in football to describe either the play called to receive a kick-off or punt or the action of a player running the ball up the field after receiving a kick-off or punt. The player running the ball is known as a returner. The return strategy differs depending on the team but typically the receiving team will attempt to push the opposition towards the sidelines to clear a path for the return. The players who take part in a return play are part of special teams, which is separate from the offense or defense, though sometimes includes those players.
Some return strategies employ two returners to ensure the ball is caught and returned quickly. When executing this type of return it is the responsibility of the individuals tasked with catching the ball to communicate with one another to ensure they both do not attempt to catch the ball. The player not catching the ball will block for the other to help the return effort. The ultimate goal of a returner is to score a touchdown.