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What Is a 1 Point Safety In Football?

A 1 point safety is extremely rare, but it can happen. What is a 1 point safety in football?

A 1 point safety is when the team trying to score a 2-point conversion or PAT turns the ball over, the defense takes the ball out of the end zone, then gets tackled in the end zone for a safety.

In this article, we’re going to show you what 1-point safety is and how it can happen.

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One-Point Safety

Yes, there is such a thing as a 1 Point Safety. But before we get into that, let’s cover the basics.

What Is a Safety?

A safety can be scored in two different ways:

  1. A ball carrier is tackled or forced out of bounds in his own endzone
  2. The offense commits a foul in their own endzone

After this happens, the ball is kicked off to the team that scored the safety from the 20-yard line.

When a Safety is recorded, it is worth 2 points. In over 99% of safeties that have ever been recorded, they have been for 2 points.

Inherently in that statistic, there have been times when a ‘safety’ was recorded, but it was not worth two points (it was only worth one point).

When Can a 1 Point Safety Happen?

The only time a 1 point safety can occur is when the offense on an extra point or two-point conversion attempt gets tackled in their own end zone. This is commonly known as conversion safety or one-point safety.

While it is doubtful that this scenario ever plays out, it has actually happened twice in NCAA Division I football. Conversely, since 1940 it has never happened in the NFL. Let’s look at the two times it has happened in NCAA DI:

1. November 26, 2004: A regular-season game in which Texas scored against Texas A&M

2. January 3, 2013: The 2013 Fiesta Bowl in which Oregon scored against Kansas State.

The point-after-touchdown kick was blocked in both games and recovered by the defense, which then fumbled or threw the ball back into its own end zone where it was downed.

The player, who started on defense, became a player on offense when he possessed the ball and went down in the opposite end zone that he would be aiming to score in.

More Facts About 1 Point Safeties

  • There are also two known NCAA Division III occurrences, the first being on November 11, 2000, against St. Thomas-Minnesota and Hamline University, and the most recent against Bluffton University and Franklin College (Indiana), which took place on November 9, 2013
  • Brad Nessler was doing the live television broadcast of both games.

The 1 point safety is extremely rare in football, but it’s good to learn the rules and be informed when the referee makes the decision.

Keep Learning

The 1 point safety is only called when the offense attempts to go for an extra point. While it is rare to see in any game, it is possible through a series of events.

Do you have more questions about safeties? Or is there another topic you would like to see covered? Let us know below!

Let’s keep learning! Our learning center is packed with information regarding technique, scheme, and more!

If you’re looking for more in-depth breakdowns & coaching resources, visit our coaching resource page here.

Perttu Moilanen

Sunday 15th of September 2019

Can the one point safety be awarded the other way?

How this could happen?

Team 1 attempts a 2 point conversion and throws the ball Player in Team 2 intercepts the pass on the goal line and proceeds to run towards the other end zone. Team 2 player runs 95 yards and fumbles the ball on 5 yard line of Team 1. Team 1 player recovers the fumble and runs back into his own end zone while trying to avoid the players of Team 2. Team 2 player tackles the team 1 player in the end zone. result: 1 point safety for team 2?

Larry Embry

Sunday 23rd of December 2018

During a PAT or two-point conversion try, if the ball is intercepted, recovered after a fumble/blocked kick then returned for a defensive score, are the points awarded in accordance to the attempt (1 or 2 pt. try) or is there a designated pt. awardance regardless of the try attempt?