A chip shot in football refers to a short field goal that does not require much effort from the kicker. Chip shot field goals are converted successfully at a very high rate and are usually considered guaranteed three points when the team is that close to the opposing team’s endzone.
Why Is It Called A Chip Shot?
The reason that a short field goal was given the name chip shot is because of its similarities of a golfing chip shot.
When a golfer puts his ball close but not onto the green he must then chip the golf ball. When chipping a golf ball the golfer will only swing his club roughly a quarter of the way through his backswing.
Since the distance to the green is so short the player does not need to utilize a full swing. Additionally, the flight of chips is often a short high arching shot.
There are even golf clubs called “chippers” the create a short high flying shot with only a light swing of the club.
This is almost identical to the situation field goal kickers find themselves in on short field goals. They are not quite in the endzone so only a small amount of yardage is required.
Yet they still need to raise the ball above the defenders in order for it not to be blocked. To do this the kicker will hit a short but high arching kick through the uprights.
How Short Is A Chip Shot Field Goal?
Though there is no set distance on how long a chip shot field is it is safe to say it must be roughly twenty-five yards or less.
Kickers typically have a maximum distance around 50-60 yards. Meaning a kick twenty-five yards and under is not going to require much power for them.
Additionally, these kicks under twenty-five yards can be considered easy for professionals as kicks of this distance are rarely missed.
Therefore a field goal of twenty-five yards or less should fit all the criteria to be considered a chip shot field goal.
How Easy Are They?
The difference between chip shot field goals and a mid-range field have quite a large difference in terms of difficulty.
This was proven to be true when the NFL officially changed the distance of extra point conversions. Previously kickers were to attempt extra points from twenty yards out.
With the rule change kickers now must make a thirty-three-yard kick in order to convert the extra point.
To illustrate how much easier chip shot field goals are lets look at the stats.
In 2014 when extra points were kicked from twenty yards out all but six teams had a 100% extra point conversion percentage. That means 26/32 teams did not miss a single extra point all year.
The lowest kicking percentage this year was 94%.
In the following year when the rule was changed kickers no longer had chip shot field goals for extra points. This movement of a twenty-yard kick to a thirty-three yard kick had massive effects.
Only four teams out of thirty managed to successfully convert each kick. This means the teams converting 100% of kicks went from 26/32 all the way to 4/32.
The lowest converting team scored only 82% of their extra points. This goes to show how much easier chip shot field goals are than mid-range field goals.