What is field position in football?

Field position in football refers to a team’s location on the field relative to their opponent’s endzone. Generally, the term field position is used when referencing where on the field a team is starting their drives. This is referred to as starting field position.

Field position plays a large role in football games especially when teams are struggling to score points.

When it is difficult to move the ball across the whole field for a touchdown starting closer to your opponent’s end zone can make a big difference.

Additionally forcing your opponents to complete long drives each time they want to score a touchdown makes it harder on them as well.

Field position is one of the few aspects of a football game that is primarily influenced by special teams. Teams that are looking to perform well in terms of starting field positions need to be sure to have a quality special teams unit to reach that goal.

Special teams and field position

When teams are looking to have good field position it is their special teams that are going to be leading the way. Though both the offense and defense are going to have effects on-field position special teams play a large role.


Kickoff is one play that has a huge effect on starting the field position the reason for this is that the kickoff will determine the field position after each scoring play and to start each half.

Kick return is responsible for setting up a good starting position for the offense. On this play, the kick returners can take a touchback which would start them at the twenty-five-yard line or they can attempt a return.

On the kick return blockers and the kick returner himself are going to determine the team’s starting field position. Kick returns consistently past the twenty-five yard line can be a huge boost to a team’s starting field position.

On the other end, the kickoff team is going to look to neutralize kick returns. The quality of the kicker is going to play a large role in the effectiveness of the kickoff team.

Whether the team is looking for touchbacks or inviting kick returns an accurate and powerful kicker is needed. If a kickoff team can pin the returner back near his goal line it can greatly affect field position.


Punts are another play that has a large effect on field position. Having a punter is an especially important factor as the distance and accuracy of punts are going to greatly change where the opponent starts their drive.

If a punter is able to pull off a coffin corner they will be able their opponents deep into their side of the field making it very hard to move the ball.

The punt coverage on these players is very important as well. If a punt team player is able to catch their own punt they will down the ball at that location.

This is a great method used to pin the opponents close to their end zone.

To get in this position gunners will have to fight off blocks of punt return team members.

Punt returns are another way in which a team can greatly improve their field position. Every once and a while a punt returner is able to gain a significant amount of yards.

These sorts of players make a huge difference in a defensive game in which field position is playing a big role.

That is all on field position in football, check our other articles to see how many acres a football field is or learn what home field advantage is.

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