How Many Points is a Touchdown in Football?

Last updated on October 28th, 2023 at 10:17 am

A touchdown in American Football is worth six points. Touchdowns occur either by running the ball into the end zone or catching a pass in the end zone. So why is a touchdown worth six points, what are examples of a touchdown, and more? Find out these answers and more below!


A Brief History of Touchdown Scoring

In the late 1800s, American Football teams would score more points by kicking the football through the goalposts instead of bringing the ball into the end zone. During this time, kicking the ball through the goalpost was worth four points, while a touchdown was worth two. In 1912, the scoring team would get 6 points for a touchdown and only earn three points for a successful kick.


Why is a Touchdown worth Six Points?

why is a touchdown worth six points

From 1909-1912, a touchdown in an American Football Game was five points. In 1912, a touchdown became worth six points. Six points are easy to understand since kicking a field goal might be easier, which is why it is worth three points or half as much as a touchdown. Since a safety is worth two points, and an extra point is one, six points for a touchdown makes it easy for fans to follow the game and understand the scores.


How Does the Referee Signal a Touchdown?

how does the referee signal a touchdown

The referee signals a touchdown by throwing their two arms up in the air like a goal post.


How Does the Extra Point Attempt Work?

how does the extra point attempt work

After a touchdown occurs by one football team, they now get to perform a field goal attempt or 2-point conversion on the 2-yard line. Teams line up to kick the ball through the upright for one point with their kicker. If the team is looking to score two points, they line up to run /pass the ball for a two-point attempt.


Teams can also line up for an extra-point kick but run a fake play to catch the defense off guard. If the offense can run or pass the ball from a fake kicking formation into the end zone, they score two points. While this phony kick can catch a defense off guard, most teams line up for a proper kick to try for one additional point.


Can a Drive Be Worth 8 Points?

can a football drive be worth 8 points

A drive is worth eight points if a team scores a touchdown and immediately scores on the two-point conversion attempt. 2-point conversions are risky because if you don’t make it into the end zone on that one attempt, you leave the drive only scoring six points. Unless a team needs to score the eight points during the game, most take the safe field goal attempt to score the additional point.


Most teams line up via a 2-point conversion like they would with any offensive formation. Some ways to score the 2-point conversion are a QB sneak, a screen pass, or a handoff to a running back. Some teams might run a phony field goal attempt to score two points, but those plays are challenging to perform correctly.


Can a Player Celebrate a Touchdown?

can a player celebrate a touchdown

In 2006, the NFL began cracking down on over-the-top celebrations after a touchdown via a 15-yard penalty. The “excessive celebration” rule was not popular in the football league, so the rule change in 2017 brought back celebrations. As long as a player was not taunting the other team or creating a massive delay in a game, the refs allow celebrations.


One popular celebration in the league is spiking the ball into the endzone. For example, Rob Gronkowski is famous for throwing the ball hard into the endzone and celebrating with his teammates after a touchdown. Other times, you will see teams line up to take a fake photo, do a dance, or something even more creative.


Conclusion: How Many Points is a Touchdown in Football?

In summary, a touchdown in American Football is worth six points. A touchdown occurs when the offensive player has secure possession of the ball and can touch the endzone with the ball or have two feet in the end zone. After a player scores a touchdown, you will see the player celebrate their accomplishment. Sometimes, in Green Bay, for example, you will see football players jump into the stands for a bit after a touchdown to celebrate with the fans.


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