A term referring to all plays where a kick of the ball is involved. The two primary players involved in the kicking game are the kicker and the punter. The kicker is responsible for kickoffs, field goal attempts and extra point attempts, while the punter is responsible for kicking the ball away to the other team on fourth down with the intent of giving them a less advantageous position on the field. The kicking game also refers to the coverage units that guard against returns on kickoffs and punts.
A kicking game is a primary aspect of a football team's "special teams" unit. A team with a complete kicking game is going to be more effective at scoring points on kicks, as well as using punts to pin the opposing team deep in its own territory. The kicker or punter is aided by a coverage team that consists of the other 10 players on the field during a kick. The coverage team is supposed to protect against an opposing return of a punt or kickoff by running downfield as fast as possible to tackle the returner. On a good punt, the punter will try to kick a high punt that takes a while to come down, allowing the coverage team time to surround the opposing returner.