Kicker (american football)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jesse Nading, # 59 can block the field goal attempt by kicker Joey Bullen, # 39, the goal post can be seen in the top right

As a kicker (often: Place kicker ) is called in American football the player who is responsible for a field goal and the point after touchdown (PAT) in Germany extra point called to achieve, d. H. to shoot the ball through the gate rod at the respective end of the playing field.

Kickers usually only get a relatively low salary in professional leagues, although they decide a game with their shots and can still end a bad run of the offensive with a point win. Several Super Bowls were even won or lost by field goals in the last second (e.g. Super Bowl XXXVI or Super Bowl XXXVIII , each by Adam Vinatieri from the New England Patriots ) or lost (e.g. Super Bowl XXV , missed by Scott Norwood of the Buffalo Bills ).


In the early days of football there was no designated placekicker, field goals or extra points were kicked by a player who otherwise played a different field position. Back then, football was kicked head-on with only a little run-up, so field goals from over 40 yards were rare. Some teams even used the dropkick , which is practically extinct in modern football. When American football specialization began in the 1950s (i.e. players who played only one field position), designated placekickers were introduced. With the advent of foreign footballers, who had mostly played football before (including the Austrian Toni Fritsch , the Hungarian Pete Gogolak , the West German Uwe von Schamann , the Mexican Rafael Septién , the Norwegian Jan Stenerud , or the Armenian Garo Yepremian ), the football-like one The technique with an arcuate approach and internal clamping shot is popular. Nevertheless, the winning field goal in Super Bowl V was decided in 1971 by Jim O'Brien , who kicked in the classic frontal style and was a regular wide receiver . Over time, the placekickers became more and more precise and stronger: in 1998 Gary Anderson managed the feat of sinking all field goals and extra points in the regular season, and Matt Prater achieved a field goal from 64 yards in 2013.

In the NFL Europe , former footballers were regularly put under contract as table footballers. Well-known personalities were Manfred Burgsmüller , Axel Kruse and Ingo Anderbrügge . With Toni Fritsch and Horst Mühlmann , however, only two people have so far managed to be both a professional soccer player and a kicker in the NFL .

Many placekickers use soccer shoes because they can kick them with more precision than normal soccer shoes . Some players even use different shoes for the shooting leg and the standing leg in order to be able to step or stand optimally.

Field goal

A player of the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes kicks the ball.

A field goal is usually awarded three points, in the NFL Europe there are four points if the distance is more than 50 yards . When it comes to the distance, it should be noted that the length from the spot of the ball to the end zone must be added seven yards from the spot back to the position of the kicker and ten yards from the beginning of the end zone to the goal. In a field goal attempt from the 20 yard line, the kicker must shoot a total of 37 yards. National Football League (NFL) kickers usually manage to achieve attempts of up to 50 or even 55 yards, the record in the NFL is 64 yards, set by Matt Prater ( Denver Broncos , December 8, 2013). A good kicker has a very strong firing leg, good timing, because the ball is first thrown, placed by the "holder" and shot away almost simultaneously with this placement, good technique, as the ball has to be hit at a certain point, and strong nerves, since the burden of a game-changing situation often rests on him.


  1. Redskins kicker wears shoe that's three sizes too small , USA Today