How Many Points Is A Touchdown Worth In Football? Explained

Written By: Chris Haddad
Updated: December 29, 2023

American football can be a complicated game, as there are many ways to score points. Teams have over five different ways to score points, but a touchdown is the most important way to score.

How Many Points Is A Touchdown In Football? A touchdown in football is worth six points. After a touchdown is scored, the scoring team can kick a field goal for one point or attempt a two point conversion.

This article will answer how many points is a touchdown worth and why it’s football’s most important scoring element.

How To Score In Football

Players must cross the goal line or kick the ball through the field goal posts to score in football. Defenses can also score by tackling the offense in their endzone.

Below is a complete table showing you all the ways to score in football.

Ways To Score In FootballHow Many Points
Touchdown6 Points
Field Goal3 Points
Safety2 Points
2-Point Conversion (After a Touchdown)2 Points
Point After Touchdown (PAT)1 Point

How Many Points Is A Touchdown?

A touchdown is worth six points in football.

Scoring a touchdown in football is the most impactful way to score. Not only does it add stress to the other team, but it also requires them to score a touchdown to keep the score close.

The football field has two goal lines marked by a thick white line on each end of the field. Each goal line is 100 yards away from one other.

American football field end zone

Beyond the goal line is what’s called the end zone. The offensive team must cross the opponent’s goal line and enter the end zone to score a touchdown, worth 6 points.

In other sports like rugby, the player must get down the ball on the ground to score points. Football is different, as the football needs to pass the goal line, with a player holding it to score 6 points.

This goal line is often marked on the sideline by two orange markers, also known as pylons. These pylons are important because it allows the referee to have a visual marker as they stand on the sideline to ensure that the player successfully crosses the goal line.

Pylon in American football

This is why field position is one of the most important concepts in football, as the closer the team is to the end zone, the easier it is for them to score a touchdown.

The more touchdowns a team scores, the better the chance they will have to win the game.

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Extra Points After A Touchdown

After a touchdown is scored and 6 points are awarded, the team that scored then has the chance to go for a PAT (Points After Touchdown). A PAT gives the team who scored two options to add additional points to the scoreboard. The team can choose to go for a 1-point PAT or a 2-point PAT.

1 Point Conversion

A 1-point PAT, better known as a 1-point conversion, allows the team to go for one point by kicking a field goal. The team only gets one point for kicking a field goal because it’s considered easier than the 2 point option.

Teams will often have kickers who can kick the ball through the field goal posts with ease. This is why 99% of the time, you’ll see teams line up to kick a field goal after a touchdown is scored.

Although the kick is not always automatic, it is much easier to score one point with a field goal than to go for 2 point conversation.

The extra point kick is easier than trying to score a two point conversion.

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2 Point Conversion

A 2-point conversion gives the team who scored a touchdown an opportunity to score two points rather than just one point. A two-point conversion gives the team who scored a touchdown the ability to run another play.

The ball will be spotted at the 3-yard line, allowing the scoring team to run one play to cross the goal line for two points. The ball can be run across the goal line, or a player can catch a pass in the end zone.

Two-point plays are a bit riskier because the team needs to block and execute the play to score the points perfectly.

It’s easier and more beneficial to kick the ball through the uprights (if you have a good kicker) and take the 1 point. Extra points are important because a missed extra point can put your team down by one or two points, which can be hard to recover from as more points are scored.

Kicking A Field Goal

Two types of field goals are kicked during a football game. For instance, as we mentioned above, one type of field goal is the PAT. This is the most common field goal, especially in youth, high school, and college.

The offense will often use their PAT unit to kick the 1-point conversion to secure points after a touchdown easily. These kicks are usually made from inside the 10-yard line and are much easier to make.

The other type of field goal is worth three points. Any field goal kicked before scoring a touchdown is worth three points. The team can kick this field goal during their drive or at any point during the game when the offense has the ball.

These kicks are often harder to make because they’re farther away from the field goal post and can often be from the left or right angle. Teams will often decide to go for it on fourth down rather than kick it, as it may not be a sure thing.

Scoring a field goal is good, but the ultimate goal is to score a touchdown and double the points, scoring 6 points. Teams who often kick just field goals and do not score touchdowns can find themselves behind the scoreboard if the other team consistently scores touchdowns.

Scoring A Safety

A safety in football is when the defense tackles an offensive player in their end zone. This is one of the few ways that defensive players can score two points.

Safeties are extremely rare in football but can occur when a running back runs into the end zone or the quarterback gets sacked in the end zone by a defensive player.

The referee will hold his hands in the air like this, confirming that a safety has occurred. The defense is awarded 2 points, and the offense will have to kick the football back to the defense, as they’ve gained possession. It’s one of the best-case scenarios in football for the defense.

Although it’s extremely rare, it’s a

Keep Learning

A touchdown scored awards the scoring team six points. It’s common that people may think seven points are awarded for a touchdown. Seven points are common as the team scores a touchdown and then kicks an extra point, making seven points.

If you want to continue learning about football, we recommend you check out our Beginners Guide To Football below. It has everything that you need to improve your football IQ.

The Ultimate Football Guide

Why spend hours on Google and YouTube trying to learn football yourself? We’ve created a simple guide to help make you the smartest person in the room.

Learn more about football rules in the articles below.

The Complete Beginners Guide To American Football

How Long Is a Football Field? Field Dimensions Explained

How Many Football Players On A Football Team? Learn The Players

6 points are awarded to the team that scores a touchdown. Scoring a touchdown is one of the hardest tasks to do in football. It requires discipline and execution from all 11 players on the field.

It’s often misinterpreted that 7 points are awarded for a touchdown. This is often mixed up as fans automatically assume the extra point is made.

The extra point (1 point PAT) is often automatic. However, a kicker may miss the quick, which means the team gets the 6 points for a touchdown.

Touchdowns are the most important scoring element in football, and the am who can produce the most touchdowns often win the game.

About the author 

Chris Haddad

Chris Haddad is the founder of vIQtory Sports & high school coach for over 12+ years. He has been featured as an authority on Hudl, Bleacher Report and countless other football-centric platforms. Chris continues to study and provide valuable content for those looking to learn more about the game of football.