Squib kicks are often an overlooked play in football, though they still happen relatively often. Here are some of what makes the squib kick such a unique aspect of football.
What is a squib kick in football?
A squib kick is a type of kickoff where the kicker drives the ball low and short. Squib kicks can force a non-traditional player to field the ball, which results in a less-likely chance of a big return.
- Mike Squib is credited with creating the squib kick in a high school football game.
- Squib kicks are used in a number of situations on kickoffs.
- These kicks are easy to distinguish since the kicks are kicked low and short.
- Returners can attempt to return a squib kick or accept the field position they already have by throwing themselves to the ground or taking a knee.
Origin of the squib kick
The squib kick is credited to Mike Squib, who used it during a high school football game in California. It was later used in the NFL in 1981, on accident, by 49ers kicker Ray Wersching. Wersching miskicked the ball, and it took a couple of bobbles off the turf, favoring the 49ers.
What is the point?
The point of a squib kick is to prevent a good return. The kicker attempts a squib kick by kicking it low and short, forcing anyone other than the two returner specialists to field the ball. The squib kick forces teams to allow the opposing team to have the ball with better field position, but it’s usually safe because a big return is very unlikely. While a big return isn’t likely, it is still possible.
When do teams use a squib kick?
Teams can choose to do a squib kick on any kickoff. Squib kicks are more popular in the lower ranks of football when the kickers aren’t capable of kicking the ball near the end zone. Even when kickers are capable of booting the ball into the end zone, teams use squib kicks are a safer option towards the end of a half. This helps teams avoid a big return and melt more seconds off the clock.
How do you squib kick a football?
- Disguise the squib kick by lining up as if it were a normal kickoff.
- The kicker approaches the ball like it was a normal kick.
- The kicker strikes the ball low and short, usually forcing the other team to have a non-traditional returner to return the ball.
- The coverage tackles whoever receives the ball, not allowing a significant return.
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How far is a squib kick?
There isn’t an exact rule stating what qualifies as a squib kick, but squib kicks typically travel further than onside kicks and shorter than regular kickoffs. If the ball does manage to reach the return specialists, they often can’t do much with a return because they are already surrounded by defenders.
What is the difference between an onside kick and a squib kick?
While both onside kicks and squib kicks have similarities, they are two very different kicks. Onside kicks are attempted to win the ball back directly from the kickoff. Onside kicks are executed to prevent a big return.
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