What is a Safety in Football ? What Does A Safety Do In Football?

What is a safety in football ? A safety in American Football is how the defense or special teams score points. This is not to be confused with the safety position, which is part of the defensive backs.

A safety in football is scored when the offense commits a foul in their end zone, fumbles the ball out of their end zone, or is tackled in their end zone. The result of safety is 2 points for the defensive team.

This article will show you what safety is in football and why they’re important in scoring.

What Is a Safety In Football?

According to the NFL rulebook, ” if the offense commits a foul in its end zone or; when an impetus by a team sends the ball behind its own goal line, and the ball is dead in the end zone in its possession, or the ball is out of bounds behind the goal line.”

A safety in American football is rare to see, but it can happen. When the ball goes through the offensive team’s end zone or when a player is tackled in their end zone, you will see the referee hold his hands above his head.

This type of scoring often occurs when the offense makes a mistake with their blocking schemes or football.

Safeties are rare in football but can happen if the offense isn’t careful with their play calling. They often occur when the offense is backed up to its own territory.

When the safety is awarded to the defense, they will be given two points.

what is a safety in football

How To Score A Safety

There’s an argument to be made about going for it or punting it when a team is driving into the other team’s territory. Many coaches will elect to punt the ball in hopes they can pin the other team deep into their territory.

This is beneficial because if they can down the punt inside of the opponent’s 5-yard line, there’s a good chance they will be able to get a safety.

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There are two ways that a defense can score a safety.

The first way is to tackle the person in the end zone or push a player out of the end zone.

Once an offensive player enters the endzone with the football, they must get the entire football out of the end zone to not be a safety. If the player is tackled with 1/2 of the football in the end zone, it will be a safety.

This is the most common type of safety. When the defense has the offense pinned inside their territory, the defense will be super aggressive in trying to score a safety.

This is why offenses will try to throw the ball deep on early downs, hoping to get out of their zone.

The second type of safety occurs when the ball is fumbled out of the end zone. This is common on special teams.

For example, they have to punt if a team has the ball on their 1-yard line. Due to the shortened field, the punter will have a short distance from the long snapper.

It’s common for a long snapper to either snap the ball low or snap the ball over the punter’s head.

If the ball is snapped out of the end zone, the call will result in a safety. If the ball, at any point, goes out of the offense’s end zone, it will be ruled a safety.

When safety is called, the referee will put his hands in the air like this. This means that there is a safety on the play, and the ball will go back to the other team, along with 2 points on the scoreboard.

Safety Kick

Once a safety is awarded to the defense for getting tackled or fumbling the ball out of their end zone, the defense will be awarded 2 points. They also will be awarded possession.

This means that the offense will need to kick or punt the football to the opposing team. Safeties can affect an offense because they let up 2 points to the opposing team, and then they have to give the ball back to the opposing team.

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Teams may choose whichever they want to do, kick or punt the football once they give up a safety.

What is a Safety in Football?

Once again…

A safety is a point-scoring play that results in a team getting 2 points on the scoreboard.

There are a few different ways that teams can record a safety.

1. If the offense records a penalty in their own end zone.

2. If a ball carrier gets tackled in their own end zone after having the ball outside of the end zone at any point during the play. This can occur on offense, defense, and special teams.

3. If a fumble or other loose ball gets knocked out of the back of the possessing team’s end zone, or out of bounds in the end zone.

Let’s discuss each of them in more detail…

1. Safety Due to Offensive Penalty

This scenario is one of the easiest to explain.

If the offense commits a penalty in their own end zone, a safety will be called.

Here is the most common situation in which this will occur…

The offense starts the play near their own end zone, say, on their own one-yard line. After the snap of the ball, one of the offensive linemen gets called for a holding penalty that occurs in their own end zone.

Keep in mind that the holding itself has to actually occur in the end zone — it can’t happen at the one-yard line or forward.

If this happens, regardless of what happens during the play, the referee will call the holding penalty and then award the defense a safety.

2. Safety Due to Tackle in End Zone

The second scenario occurs when a ball carrier gets tackled in his own end zone.

This can be a little misunderstood, though.

In order for a safety to be called, the ball carrier must be OUTSIDE of the end zone at some point during the play and then voluntarily take the ball back into the end zone.

If that doesn’t happen, then it’s not a safety.

For example, if a running back takes handoff in the end zone and brings the ball to the one-yard line, but then the defense carries him back into the end zone to tackle him, that is NOT a safety.

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In this scenario, the running back had possession of the ball outside the end zone, but didn’t VOLUNTARILY go back. He was forced by the defensive team back there.

If, however, the running back takes a handoff in the end zone and never makes it out of the end zone, it is a safety.

Also, if the running back comes out of the end zone then goes back into the end zone trying to make a cut, it’s also considered a safety.

3. Safety Due to a Fumble

The third scenario…

When a fumble goes out of bounds through the end zone without either team getting full possession of the ball before that happens.

There are a few different ways this happens.

The first is if a ball carrier fumbles the ball, and the ball bounces around as players are scrambling to recover it.

If the football goes out the back of the end zone or out of bounds on either side in the end zone before someone gets full possession, then it’s a safety.

Likewise, if an offensive player recovers the football in bounds but is in the end zone when he does it, that’s also a safety.

Another occurrence is if a long snapper throws the ball to the side or over the head of a punter.

In this case, if the ball goes into the end zone, the punter may just smack or kick the ball out of the back of the end zone to prevent the returning team from recovering the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.

When he does this, it’s considered a safety.

what is a safety in football

The Penalty for a Safety

No matter how the safety happens, the outcome is exactly the same.

The defense scores 2 points and will also regain possession of the ball.

The team which the safety was called against will then have to free kick the ball back to the other team.

They can either place kick it like a normal kickoff, or they can punt it back to them.

This is why a safety can be such a game-changing play.

It rewards the team 2 points and also gives them back possession of the ball in what will likely be good field position.

Above is information what is a safety in football.  Hopefully, through the above content, you have a more detailed understanding of  what is a safety in football .Thank you for reading our post.

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