To Punt or not to Punt – Special Teams

I read an article the other day about a High School team that has decided not to Punt on Special Teams.  Based on their stats, they conclude that they have a better opportunity to make a first down vs the gains made by punting.  Since I coach youth football pre-teens, this seems like a pretty good idea, especially since punting at this age group is very risky; snap, blocking, kick / punt, and return coverage. 

Based on our Punt stats from our last season, not punting might be a good option for us.  We only netted about 10 yards from our punt team.  Our net yards per play were 5+ for the regular season.  I sent the Punting article to my other coaches, and they agree.  Not punting is a legitimate strategy for our team. 

I’ve been strategizing if not punting within the 10 makes sense.  Should you take the safety and kick-off or should you go for it and hope your defense can hold within the 10 if you do not make the 1st down?  I am thinking that within the 5 and 5+ yards to go maybe we take the safety.  We are consistent making two point conversions so we could make up the difference for a saftey.  If we are outside the 5 and less then 7+ to go we should go for it on 4th down.   Within the 10 is my only sticking point with not punting for an entire game.

Let me know if you would punt inside the 10 or go for it. Or would you always punt on 4th down no matter where you are on the field?

Play for Fun and Winning is Funner.

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One Comment

  1. We rarely punt, just for the reasons stated here, typically in the best case scenario we have maybe a net 10 yards change in field position. Worst case, you fumble the snap or kick right to the returner and then things can get worse. If we do punt it is directionally away from the returner with the intent of getting the ball bouncing on the ground. If I had a kid the could rugby kick I would consider using it for out punt team.

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