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What Are The Points After Touchdown?

Want to learn how American Football’s scoring system works? Ever wondered what are the points after touchdown? The points after touchdown are classified into two. The one point conversion in which the team kicks the ball through the goal posts in order to gain an additional point. The other is the two point conversion in which the teams need to convert another touchdown after making a successful one. The point after touchdown is also known as the “extra point.”

How Points After Touchdown Works

After a successful touchdown, if the team decides to go for a one point conversion, a kicker will kick the ball from the three-yard line nearest to the end zone. The ball must pass through between the goal posts for the team to gain an additional point. 

However, if the team who has made a touchdown decides to go for a two point conversion, they will attempt to make another touchdown from the two yard line this time. If it happens to be successful, the team will be awarded with an additional two points which will be added to their previous six points, in which they gained after making a touchdown. 

In addition to that, the attempt will be unsuccessful and the play will be over once the defense takes possession of the ball.

Either way, whether a team goes for a one point conversion or a two point conversion, whether it is successful or not, a kickoff will be made and the play continues as long as there is still time remaining before the end of the half or the game. 

Why Are There Points After Touchdown?

In football, points after touchdown is required because these are considered as the “tiebreakers” of the game. Teams are taking advantage in using this scoring strategy in order for them to secure their win, or even at least try to make a comeback if they are trailing. One point conversion is almost automatic and is guaranteed to succeed. 

During the past years, it has a success rate of ninety seven percent. Mainly because a kicker will simply kick the ball from a twenty yard line to a goal post which has a vertical uprights of eighteen feet and six inches which stands at ten feet above the ground. 

However, the two point conversion is rarely used because of its low success rate. Teams are taking risk to go for a two point conversion rather than a sure extra point when they are trailing by an amount that requires more points in order for them to catch up, which a normal extra point cannot provide. Approximately, this kind of scoring strategy only has a success rate of around 40 to 55% over the years. 

Given the fact that it has greater value than the “extra point”, it is harder to achieve. So it is all up to the team to make a good strategy during games—in which they have to decide if they will go for a one point conversion or take the risk in trying to make a two point conversion.

The History Of Points After Touchdown

The Points After Touchdown, which is known before as the “extra point” is considered as one of the oldest rules in the game of football.[1] Before, scoring a touchdown is not a priority because it is only worth one point which will be awarded to a team who was successful in making it. And the extra point, during that time, is more important because it is worth four points and it will be awarded to a team if the kicker will be able to make the ball pass through the two goal posts. 

By then, during the early 20th century, football rules were modified and the importance of making a touchdown and scoring an extra point were reversed. Touchdown had become more important for it is worth five points, while the value of scoring an extra point was reduced from four to one. By 1912, the value of touchdown increased to six. In 1994, the National Football League added the two point conversion to the rules of the game. Though, in college, they were already using it since 1958. 

Points After Touchdown; How It Works In Action

After a touchdown, the offensive team will be given a chance to make an additional point in which they have an option of whether they will go for an extra point or a two point conversion.[2] In an attempt to make an extra point, the ball will be placed on the two yard line (professional) or on the three yard line (college) and a player will kick the ball to the uprights. If it’s successful, the team will gain an additional one point. 

However, if the team decides to go for a two point conversion, the ball will also be placed on the two yard line (professional) or on the three yard line (college), but this time, they will try to advance the ball to the end zone just like what they are usually doing in making a touchdown. The team will be given one attempt. If they can make the ball get through the goal line, their team will gain an additional two points. 

Final Words

Teams have the freedom to decide whether they’ll go for an extra point where they will surely be scoring a point, or go for a two point conversion which is considered as a very risky move. Still, it depends on the game situation, remaining time, and the current score that the team thinks is ideal for them. 

At any level, coaches and players must understand football to develop and execute successful strategies that can help their team win. Do you think an extra point can change the course and outcome of the game? Let us know what you think!


1. “On the Origins of Sports: The Early Rules of Football | Mental ….” Accessed 4 Aug. 2020.
2.  “Touchdown – Wikipedia.” Accessed 4 Aug. 2020.

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