Special Teams Positions


Members of special teams that specialise in chasing down kick or punt returners downfield. The gunners normally position up on the offensive line’s outside, where they are frequently double-teamed by blockers.


The player who catches the snap from the centre and places it on the ground for the placekicker to kick through the goalpost uprights. The holder must catch the ball and place it in a good kicking position, ideally with the laces facing away from the kicker, on an attempted field goal.

Returner of Kicks

The athlete that catches kickoffs and attempts to return them in the opposite direction is known as a kick returner. He is usually a reserve wide receiver and one of the team’s fastest players.

Snapper (Long)

On offence, the centre position is played the same way, except this player specialises in longer snaps for punts and field goal tries. For field goal tries, a long-snapper must snap the ball seven to eight yards behind him, and for punts, 13 to 15 yards, with the accuracy that allows the holder or punter to handle the ball cleanly.


On kickoffs, extra point attempts, and field goal tries, the player who kicks the ball. A placekicker kicks the ball off a tee or while it is in the hands of a teammate.


Behind the line of scrimmage, the player catches the long snap from the centre and kicks the ball after dropping it near his foot. On fourth down, the punter usually enters to kick the ball to the opposing team with the goal of moving the opposing team as far back as possible before taking possession of the ball.

Returner of Punts

Punt returners are responsible for catching the ball after it has been punted and returning it to the punting team’s end zone.