Definition of Squib Kick

What does the term "squib kick" mean? What is meant by the term "squib kick"?

In the game of football, teams will kick off to another team after they have scored, or at the start of a game or half.

In most cases, the kickoffs will travel to the endzone, where the kick returner will leave the ball, giving his team a spot at their own 20 yard line.

What is a squib kick in American football?  How is it different from a regular kickoff?  The King explains.In some cases, however, the ball is either kicked short of the endzone, or a kick returner is so skilled that he will attempt to return the ball out of the endzone.

In order to keep the ball out of the hands of talented kick returners, teams will sometimes utilize something that is called the "squib kick".

A squib kick occurs when a kicker purposely kicks the ball in a way so that one of the opposing team's slower players will handle it. So, this might be a low, line-drive kick that travels 20 yards before bouncing.

In the case of the squib kick, the goal is to keep the ball out of the hands of the kick returner. This is usually done at the end of a half, or if the kick returner is really, really good.


For instance, at the start of Super Bowl XLI, Devin Hester of the Chicago Bears returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown.

In order to prevent this from happening again, the Indianapolis Colts used the squib kick on five of the next six kickoffs in order to neutralize Hester.

It worked, and the Colts ended up winning the Super Bowl.