Can A Punt Become A Field Goal? (And What The Rules Say)

Editorial credit: Brad McPherson /

A punt is a popular term in American football and refers to a specific type of kick that happens when the football is dropped and kicked by the punter before it touches the ground. There is usually one punter per team, and this type of kick is carried out when the offense wants to change the field position by kicking the ball to the opposition team’s side of the field. But can a punt also become a field goal?

A punt cannot become a field goal. But a drop kick which resembles a punt can be used in a field goal try on condition that the drop kick hits the ground before it’s kicked. Rule 11, article 3, section 4, states a punt can’t be a field goal because of how the field goal is defined.

There are two main types of football kicks: a punt kick and a field goal. Punt kicks are usually kicked from a distance, while field goals are kicked from close proximity. An average punt in American football is 45 yards. According to football rules, a punt can’t become a field goal, but others would argue that it can become a field goal.

Is It Possible For A Punt To Become A Field Goal?

Some football players and fans may argue that a punt can become a field goal. However, in terms of accuracy, punt kicks are more accurate than field goals because of their distance and the position of the opposing team.

If purely based on the rules of football, then a punt cannot be considered a field goal.

According to the rules of professional football, when the ball is kicked, it needs to touch the ground before being kicked for it to be a field goal. However, a punt kick does not hit the ground and cannot be considered a field goal.

What Kinds Of Kicks Are Considered Field Goals?

There are two types of acceptable kicks that are considered field goals; these are the place kick and the drop kick. For a kick to qualify as a field goal, it needs to be kicked between the uprights and over the crossbar.

A field goal can also be scored by a fair catch kick, which isn’t likely in most football games.

Where Are Field Goals Kicked Compared To A Punt Kick?

A punter is usually lined up 15 yards behind the center. A punt kick can happen on any down, although it is more common to punt on the 4th down. Teams usually opt to punt on the 4th down because it’s the last chance the offense has to get the ball to the other team.

Field goals are kicked from anywhere on the football field except where the end zones are located. Most professional kickers will kick field goals within 52 yards, and the scrimmage isn’t further than the 35-yard line. In rare instances, a kicker may attempt a field goal from 60 yards, but this reduces the chances of scoring a field goal.

Can Punters Kick Field Goals?

A punter usually has one job: to perform punt kicks during a football game. A punter and a kicker are generally two separate positions in football, but one player can fulfill both roles.

Punters can also be trained to kick field goals and can kick a field goal if they are required to do so. However, field goals are usually kicked by the placekicker or kickers in American football.

Kickers are trained to be highly accurate with their kicks because extra points and field goals in a match can make a significant difference between the winning and losing teams. Punters and kickers have different skills and perform various functions in a game. Therefore, it is not ideal for one person to carry out punt kicks and kick for field goals.

Is It Possible For A Punter To Accidentally Kick A Field Goal?

It may be possible for a punter to kick a field goal accidentally, but it’s also improbable. For a goal to be considered a field goal, it must be drop-kicked and not punted. If a punter accidentally kicks the ball once it’s hit the ground and it becomes a field goal, it will either be ruled as an accidental kick by the refs, and an illegal kick penalty may be issued.

If the kick happened as soon as the ball touched the ground and very quickly, it might not be a liable punt, and the game would continue as if the punt did not take place.

Editorial credit: Mark Herreid /

Is A Punter As Important As A Field Goal Kicker?

A good punter and a good football punting strategy can help a team win a football game. A punter can change the field position to have the upper hand over the opposing team. A punter that doesn’t have as much experience or skill can give the opposing team a much shorter distance for them to score and gives them a better advantage in the game.

Poor field position can give the opposing team a better chance to score, even if you have an excellent offense strategy.

Most of the time, people confuse punters and kickers as the same player, but in professional football, they usually aren’t. This is because punters are required to kick the ball far and are capable of powerful kicks, while field goal kickers are trained for accuracy.

Punting can be very technical, and players that are good at field kicks may not be as good at punting. As a result, teams use many approaches to punting and techniques to gain an advantage over their opposition.


In professional football, a punt can’t become a field goal. A field goal can only be scored through a drop kick, a place kick, and a catch kick. Punt kicks are used to change field position rather than for scoring field goals. While this can be controversial, a punt cannot become a field goal based on football rules.


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