If a team attempts a field goal from close range (ball placed inside 20), the setup seems to be the same as from far range, i.e. with the holder being located 7 yards behind the line of scrimmage.

I am wondering why the ball is not snapped e.g. 9 yards to reduce the chance of the kick being blocked. From close range, the extra 2 yards should not make a difference for the kicker or the center, but it would make a big difference for the defence trying to block the kick.


1 Answer 1


It's all about routine, particularly for the long snapper and holder - far more kicks fail because something goes wrong in the transfers from long snapper to holder, or from the holder to kicker's foot than actually being true blocks at the line.

Everything the long snapper and holder practice is based on a 7 yard snap - the long snapper knows exactly how to snap the ball to put it exactly in the holder's hands at the 7 yard mark, and the kicker knows exactly how long the holder will take to get the ball down from the snap so they can time their approach. It would add risk - to all field goals and PATs - to ask those three players to be able to do that incredibly precise coordination at difference distances than it is for them just to take the very small chance of the field goal being blocked.

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    In other words, the increased probability of a good kick being fired off in all attempts is worth a small decreased probability of a block in a few attempts.
    – Nij
    Sep 16, 2022 at 11:34

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