How to Score Points in Football

Never knew how to score points in football? Scoring in football can be complicated because there are so many different ways to score, and some of these are worth different amounts of points.  Most of the points in a football game come from touchdowns and field goals, but there are other ways to score.  Because of the different possible combinations, a team's final score can be any whole number except for one. There are ultimately five ways to score points in football:

  1. Field Goal (3 points): Any time a team has possession of the ball it can elect to try a field goal.  This consists of one player placing the ball on the ground while another kicks the ball towards the opposing team's goal posts.  If the ball goes through the goal posts the kicking team earns three points.  If he misses the other team takes over possession from the spot of the kick.
  2. Touchdown (6 points): When a player advances the football past the opposing team's goal-line he scores a touchdown for his team. In addition to scoring six points, when a team scores a touchdown it also earns a conversion attempt, which can lead to scoring one or two more points. Of all the different ways to score in football, none is worth more points than a touchdown. 
  3. Extra-Point (1 point): After scoring a touchdown a team gets to run one play from its opponent's three yard line. The team can use this play to try to kick a field goal. If the team makes the field goal it receives one point.  Following the extra point attempt, the team that scored the touchdown kicks off to the other team.
  4. 2-Point Conversion (2 points): After scoring a touchdown a team can also use its extra play from the three yard line to try to advance the ball past the opponent's goal line again.  If it is successful, the scoring team receives two points.  This is one of the most exciting ways to score points in football since the team gets one play to either convert the two point play or to fail and receive no extra points.  Following the conversion attempt the team that scored the touchdown kicks off to the other team.
  5. Safety (2 points): When the team possessing the ball gets tackled in its own endzone the play results in a safety.  The opposing team gets two points.  A safety also occurs if the team possessing the ball commits a holding penalty in its own endzone, or if its quarterback commits an intentional grounding penalty while in the endzone.  In addition to scoring two points, the team that earns a safety also receives the ball on a free kick by the opposing team.  Of all the different ways of scoring points in football, the safety is probably the rarest.  It is also unique in that it is the only way to score points in football without possession of the ball.
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