All-purpose yardage

All-purpose yardage

All-purpose yards or All-purpose yardage is an American football and Canadian football statistical measure. It is virtually the same as the statistic that some football leagues refer to as combined net yards. [cite web|url=|title=Top 20 Combined Net Yards |accessdate=2008-01-02|publisher=Pro Football Hall of Fame|date2006-02-22] In the game of football, progress is measured by advancing the football towards the opposing team's goal line. Progress can be made during play by the offensive team by advancing the ball from the its point of progress at the start of play known as the line of scrimmage or by the defensive team after taking possession of the football via a change of possession (such as punt, kickoff, interception, punt block, blocked kick or fumble). When the offensive team advances the ball by rushing the football, the player who carries the ball is given credit for the difference in progress measured in rushing yards. When the offensive team advances the ball by pass reception, the player who catches the reception is given credit for the difference in progress measured in reception yards. Although the ball may also be advanced by penalty these yards are not considered all-purpose yards. Progress lost via quarterback sacks are classified variously. Thus, all-purpose yards is a combined total of rushing yards, receiving yards, and all forms of return yards only. Some sources do not specify which types of return yards count toward this total because the most common forms of return yards are kick and punt return yards. [cite web|url=|title=All-Purpose Yards|publisher=Pearson Education, Inc.| work=Information Please Database|accessdate=2008-01-02|date=2007]

Football associations differ on their own specific definitions of the term. The National Collegiate Athletic Association, for example, defines the term as "the combined net yards gained by rushing, receiving, interception (and fumble) returns, punt returns, kickoff returns and runbacks of field goal attempts. All-purpose yardage does not include forward passing yardage" (at pg. 206).cite web|url=|title=Official 2007 NCAA Division I Football Record Book|publisher=National Collegiate Athletic Association|accessdate=2008-01-03|year=2007|month=August] The National Football League (NFL), however, defines combined net yards as "Rushing, receiving, interception returns, punt returns, kickoff returns, and fumble returns".cite web|url=|title=Individual Records: Combined Yardage|accessdate=2008-01-03|publisher=NFL Enterprises LLC] Neither of these totals makes clear how they handle the advancement of a successful onside kick.

Brian Westbrook holds the NCAA Division I record for career all-purpose yards, while Barry Sanders holds the single-season record. Jerry Rice holds the NFL career combined net yards record.

ee also

*Glossary of American football


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