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How Many Points Is A Safety?

How many points is a safety? In football, “safety” is worth two points. Basically, it is a scoring opportunity for the defensive unit to accumulate some points. It is when the ball carrier is tackled in his own end zone. Aside from that, if the offense commits an error or a foul in their own end zone, safety points will be awarded to the defensive team. 

How Do You Get Safety Points?

Scoring a “safety point(s)” is a strategy that is rarely being used. It is the least common among the type of scoring opportunities in playing football. Though it has a low point value, scoring a “safety” may have an important impact and could change the course and the outcome of the game. The question is, how do you get a safety point(s)? 

Safety Point In American Football 

In American Football, there are three different ways on how a team can score points by means of safety. [1]

First, the same thing as mentioned above, safety points will be awarded to a team if their ball carrier is tackled or is forced to get out of bounds in his team’s own end zone. Another thing is when the ball becomes dead in the end zone. Not being able to receive the forward pass is an exception to this rule especially if it happens that the defensive team is the one who is responsible for it being there. And lastly, if the offense commits a foul, whether it is unsportsmanlike or not, safety points will be awarded to the opposing team. 

Safety Point In Canadian Football 

In Canadian Football, there is a very small difference when it comes to how teams will score through safeties. [2]

First is when the ball becomes dead in the goal of the offensive team who has the legal possession of the ball. Another thing is when the ball touches or crosses the sideline or the deadline. And lastly, if the ball carrier threw an offside pass in his own goal area or at least intentionally grounding. 

Who Gets the Ball After Safety?

After a safety, the ball is placed at the 20-yard line and will be put into play in a way of free kick. The team who scored the safety can punt, drop kick or place kick the ball wherein any member of the receiving team may try to catch it. Though there’s a rule that if the ball travels to at least 10 yards or a player of the receiving team touches the ball, the possession can be recovered by the kicking team. 

Also, take note that in a professional league like the NFL, it is not allowed to use a “kicking tee”. However, in an amateur game like college or highschool football, game officials are allowing the players to use such things (kicking tee) which can help them to put accuracy, and direction as they kick the ball. 

What Is A One Point Safety?

Years ago, the National Football League in the United States added an extra point rule which is called to be the “one point safety” in which will be given to a team if the defensive player takes the ball into his own end zone and is tackled. Through that, the offensive team will gain a score. One point will be added to their team’s total score. But the thing is that it never happened in the NFL before. 

Before it was introduced in the professional league, one point safeties already happened in college football games. A game against Oregon and Kansas State during the 2013 Fiesta Bowl is the most notable and can be used as a good example to explain this “one-point safety” rule. A Kansas State player picked up the ball and ran towards his own end zone and ended up getting tackled afterwards. 

The First One Point Safety In The History Of The NFL

On October 29, 2018, what is supposed to be the first one point safety in the history of the NFL nearly happened. The game between the Bills and the Patriots, history almost happened. Towards the end of the game, the first one point safety in the NFL was almost scored. Tom Brady was tackled and picked up by the Bills linebacker, Julian Stanford on a two point conversion attempt. He was hit but was able to recover and Stanford never really made it to the end zone. As a result, the Patriots did not get a point. Until today, no team in the history of the NFL has scored a one point safety. 

Final Words

In conclusion, players in football who are assigned to do the safety work must have the ability and strength to match up physically against the strongest frontlines of the opposing team. All positions in football are important but being the last line of defense is a different thing, you have to make sure that your opponents will not be able to pass through you to assure that they’ll not be scoring any points against you and your team. What do you think of being a “safety”? Is it really necessary inside the pitch? Share us your thoughts!


1. “American Football Rules – Rules of Sport.” Accessed 30 Jul. 2020.
2.  “ – Official site of the Canadian Football League.” Accessed 30 Jul. 2020.

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