Missed field goal question

Howdy from Houston,

After watching the outstanding players and coaches that came from the CFL to the XFL and gave us such an awesome albeit short season, I thought I would finally start to check out the CFL since the XFL's future is dubious at best and I'm no fan whatsoever of the NFL.

In a recent article on the CFL website, it was mentioned that a touchdown can be scored on a missed field goal. I understand the 1 point rule (which is pretty awesome) but I don't see how someone can score a touchdown on a missed field goal.

Inquiring minds want to know... can someone please help me understand this?


Welcome to the forum Pete.

If a team misses the FG and the ball goes out the back of the endzone, or the receiving team catches the ball inside the endzone and doesn't try to run it out, takes a knee, or is tackled in the end zone then the kicking team gets 1 point.

If, however, the receiver does try to run the ball out, and goes all the way, then yes it's a TD for his team.

Hope that's clear enough. . .

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There are a couple ways a kicking team can score a touchdown following a failed field goal attemp.

In case you're not familiar, the goal posts are on the goal line, so a missed field goal is a live ball in the end zone. Of course not just anyone from the kick team can recover the ball.

All kicks from scrimmage can be recovered by any player onside to the kick. So if the ball remains live in the end zone after missing the goal post assembly, the kicker and anyone behind him when the ball was kicked can run in and recover.

Likewise if the ball is fumbled by the return team in their own endzone following a missed field goal, then the ball is live to anyone from the kick team and a touchdown can be scored.

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Thank you Joey and MadJack! That makes sense.

This is not really much different than the NFL, where a missed field goal — or a missed field goal fumbled in the end zone — can also be run back, or fallen on for a TD. The biggest difference is the onside kick rule that JoeyT mentions, though it is quite rare.

Though not a field goal, but a punt, here's an example of a TD being scored on an onside kick.

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Thank you Rpaege, that is a really great video. I can't wait for the new season to start!

Neither can we, Pete. Let's hope the league survives this pandemic shutdown.

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Touchdown was scored here after a missed field goal and subsequent kickouts. That was 10 years ago, and I cannot even recall another kickout since then.

What an amazing play! Thank you for sharing it. There are so many aspects about the CFL that I'm discovering that make it such an incredible league to follow.

While that was such a good play, my question was in regards to this quote from https://www.cfl.ca/2020/06/16/breaking-year-return/

"In total, there were 21 kick return touchdowns last season, which was the fourth highest total of all-time and the highest since 2004 (22). These touchdowns came in the form of punt returns (nine), kickoff returns (nine) and miss field goals (three)."

There were three touchdowns in 2019 that resulted from a missed filed goal.

rPaege sent a great video of an onside kick. Okie, you sent a good video of a kickout.

JoeyT gave the best explanation: A missed filed goal is a live ball in the end zone. If the ball remains live in the end zone after missing the goal post assembly, the kicker and anyone behind him when the ball was kicked can run in and recover. Hence the touchdown...

It would be nice to see a video of one of those plays.

I can't say that I ever recall that happening. Usually the receiving team has a player in the end zone to recover any missed attempts, and the only "onside" players on the kicking team are typically the kicker and the holder, neither of whom generally attempt to run downfield, and indeed are more likely to be concerned with a return by the receiving team. A TD by the kicking team, following a missed FG, is usually the result of a fumble by the receiving player.

To be honest, this is the first time that I have really thought about a missed field goal being recovered by an onside player, and had not considered the possibility of a TD being awarded. I suppose that would be the proper scoring call, don't know what else it would be.

There was a play last season where the punter recovered his own kick on something like the 5 yard line of the other team after the receiver for the other team lollygagged while fielding it, though I can't find a video for that. Kickers often run down field and attempt to recover the ball. I'm pretty sure it has also happened in the end zone, though incredibly rare.

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Looking at that play closer and it appears that there was an illegal block thrown by an Alouette player on the TD recovery . There should have been a flag thrown , go to around the 1.52-1.55 mark of the video and judge for yourself if it was a missed call or not .

The CFL record book lists 16 TDs scored on onside kick recoveries, dates back to 1936.
Only 2 of those OKR TDs were scored on missed field goals.
1948 Eric Chipper Ott
1962 Gary Schreider BC
The Schreider kick hit the goal post and bounced back into the field of play. Schreider recovered at the 8 yard line. That play resulted in a rule change which now declares a MFG that hits the goal post a dead ball.


By who? There were multiple pushes and shoves on both sides?

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It looks like it's number #30 of the Alouettes giving a push in the back of number #88 of the Argos just as number #13 of Toronto is attempting the kick out .

Nothing unusual about that. The potential for such a return is why teams are hesitant to try long field goals. When wind is a major factor, teams sometimes punt instead of attempting something like a 40 yard field goal.

The Justin Medlock punt and recovery was included in a few of the Top Ten Plays of 2019.


YES! Thanks for that Okie! The Medlock recovery starts at 3:31. What a great play by him. The REDBLACK's player took his sweet time fielding it and it cost them.

I can't find the clip but I'm pretty sure in recent years the BC Lions recovered an onside field goal attempt for a first down.

The kick was intentionally chipped towards the sideline just beyond the line of scrimmage. This kind of recovery results in a first down irrespective of the required yardage if I'm remembering the rules correctly.

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Also cost Ryan Lankford his job in Ottawa as he was released a few days later. BC picked him up and that is how he is featured in Play #2 kicking back a punt return. After Lankford recovered his own kick, he pitched the ball to Duron Carter who was then tackled.

I could not find the onside field goal attempt for a first down by the Lions. Here is one though against the Lions at 2:06.

Here is QB Jeremiah Masoli on a 3rd down play quick-kicking the ball and recovered by Brandon Banks for a 1st down at 7:07.

Nobody had possession of the ball at that point ... it was a loose ball scramble