Touchdown


Touchdown

A touchdown is the primary method of scoring in American and Canadian football.

Description

To score a touchdown, one team must take the football into the opposite end zone. This can be done by rushing, in which the ball carrier carries the football forward into the end zone. It can also be done by passing, where an eligible receiver catches a forward pass in the end zone. The receiver can also catch the ball prior to reaching the end zone and carry it across the plane of the end zone. This would still be considered a "passing" touchdown as opposed to a "rushing" touchdown.

Touchdowns are usually scored by the offense. However, the defense can also score a touchdown if they have recovered a fumble or an interception and return it to the opposing end zone. Special teams can score a touchdown on a kickoff or punt return, or on a return after a missed field goal attempt. In the NFL, a touchdown may be awarded by the referee as a penalty for a "Palpably Unfair Act". [http://www.nfl.com/rulebook/penaltysummaries]

A touchdown is worth six points. The scoring team is also awarded the opportunity for an extra point or a two-point conversion.cite web|url=http://www.ncaa.org/library/rules/2006/2006_football_rules.pdf|type=pdf|title=2006 NCAA Football Rules and Interpretations|publisher=National Collegiate Athletics Association|year=2006]

Unlike a try scored in rugby union or rugby league, the ball does not need to touch the ground when the player and the ball is inside the end zone.

History

When the touchdown was introduced into American football in 1876, it did not award a score; instead, it only allowed the offense the chance to kick for goal by placekick from a spot along a line perpendicular to the goal line and passing through the point where the ball was touched down, or through a process known as a "punt-out", where the attacking team would kick the ball from the point where it was touched down to a teammate. If the teammate could fair catch the ball, he could follow with a try for goal from the spot of the catch, or resume play as normal (in an attempt to touchdown the ball in a spot more advantageous for kicking). cite book |last=Nelson |first=David M. |title=The Anatomy of A Game |year=1994 |publisher=University of Delaware Press |location=Newark, NJ |isbn=0-87413-455-2 ]

In 1881, the rules were modified so that a goal kicked from a touchdown took precedence over a goal kicked from the field in breaking ties.

In 1882, four touchdowns were determined to take precedence over a goal kicked from the field. Two safeties were equivalent to a touchdown.

In 1883, points were introduced to football, and a touchdown counted as 4 points. A goal after a touchdown also counted as 4 points.

In 1889, the provision requiring the ball to actually be touched to the ground was removed. A touchdown was now scored by possessing the ball beyond the goal line.

In 1897, the touchdown scored 5 points, and the goal after touchdown added an additional point.

In 1900, the definition of touchdown was changed to include situations where the ball becomes dead on or above the goal line.

In 1912, the value of a touchdown was increased to 6 points. The end zone was also added. Before the addition of the end zone, forward passes caught beyond the goal line resulted in a loss of possession and a touchback. (The increase from 5 points to 6 did not come until much later in Canada, and the touchdown remained only 5 points there until 1956.)

The ability to score a touchdown on the point-after attempt (two-point conversion) was added to NCAA football in 1958, high school football in 1969, and the NFL in 1994. cite web|url=http://www.nfl.com/history/chronology/1991-2000#1994|title=NFL History 1991-2000|publisher=NFL.com]

ee also

* Try
* Touchdown celebration
* Touchdown Jesus

References


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Touchdown — (‚Aufsetzen‘) bezeichnet: den Moment, wenn ein fliegendes Objekt (z. B. ein Flugzeug) ersten Bodenkontakt herstellt, siehe Landung Touchdown (Roman), Roman von John Grisham (2007) Touchdown (Sport), Begriff aus verschiedenen Football Sportarten… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Touchdown — Touch down (t[u^]ch doun ), n. (Football) The act of touching the football down behind the opponents goal; also the score (6 points) resulting from such a play. [1913 Webster] {Safety touchdown}. See under {Safety}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • touchdown — (n.) 1864, from TOUCH (Cf. touch) (v.) + DOWN (Cf. down) (adv.). Originally in rugby, where the ball is lit. touched down on the other side of the goal …   Etymology dictionary

  • touchdown — ► NOUN 1) the moment at which an aircraft touches down. 2) Rugby & American Football an act of touching down …   English terms dictionary

  • touchdown — ☆ touchdown [tuch′doun΄ ] n. 1. a) the act of touching down, or landing b) the moment at which a landing aircraft or spacecraft touches the landing surface 2. Football a scoring play, worth six points, in which a player reaches the opponent s end …   English World dictionary

  • Touchdown — Touché de Dan Lawlor de Penn State en NCAA Un touchdown (ou touché au Canada) est la méthode essentielle pour marquer des points au football américain et au football canadien. Un touchdown est inscrit lorsque l une des équipes parvient à franchir …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Touchdown — El quarterback de los Texas Longhorns, Vince Young (arriba, al centro de la foto, actual jugador de los Tennessee Titans), acarrea para un touchdown contra Colorado en el partido de campeonato de la Big 12 Conference en el fútbo …   Wikipedia Español

  • touchdown — noun in American football ADJECTIVE ▪ defensive, offensive ▪ rushing ▪ game winning, winning VERB + TOUCHDOWN ▪ score …   Collocations dictionary

  • touchdown — [[t]tʌ̱tʃdaʊn[/t]] touchdowns 1) N VAR Touchdown is the landing of an aircraft or spacecraft. ...a perfect touchdown... The astronauts are preparing for touchdown tomorrow morning. Syn: landing 2) N COUNT In rugby and American football, a… …   English dictionary

  • touchdown — UK [ˈtʌtʃˌdaʊn] / US noun [countable] Word forms touchdown : singular touchdown plural touchdowns 1) the moment when an aircraft lands on the ground 2) a) in rugby, the act of touching the ball on the ground over the other team s goal line. By… …   English dictionary


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