A fair catch kick can also be used to score a field goal, but this is exceedingly unusual. Because a field goal is only worth three points, as compared to a touchdown, which is worth six points, it is often attempted only under limited circumstances (see Strategy). The modern rule was adopted in 1969; before then, any part of the ball outside the end zone required a drop-kick.
In American football, the term "field goal" usually refers to a 30-yard free throw from the goalline that scores as soon as it crosses the plane perpendicular to the end zone. A field goal is worth three points, while a 40-yarder is four points. A 55-yarder is five points and beyond that distance, it becomes difficult to hold the ball long enough to get advantage of the snap. The longest field goal ever made in NFL history was by Matt Prater of the Denver Broncos who kicked a 62-yarder into the upper deck of Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 10, 2013. It was later determined to be good.
The point after touchdown (PAT) is similar to a field goal in terms of how it is scored. However, instead of kicking directly from the line of scrimmage, the player returns a punt or kickoff for a touchdown.
In Canadian football, a field goal is worth three points, except when scoring during overtime, when it is 5 points.
The holder of the ball receives no additional payment for being in possession of it long enough to kick it; instead, they are paid according to how far they travel into either end zone. A field goal from 50 yards out is usually worth around $3 million ($300,000), while a field goal from closer than 40 yards requires approval from league officials and can be worth up to $7 million.
The size of these bonuses depends on several factors including the distance of the field goal, whether or not the player has a leg up when he enters the end zone, etc. But these are the typical numbers involved. It should be noted that if a field goal block causes a safety, the player causing the safety will also receive a bonus.
In addition to the above, each place-kicker gets an extra dollar for every point scored during their career. So, a player who scores 100 field goals over the course of his career would earn 2,500 dollars. This amount is placed in an escrow account until he reaches retirement age (usually 55 for players who started before 1970 and 60 for those who started after that year), at which time it is released back to him.
When a team is faced with a fourth-and-goal situation, they will frequently attempt to make a field goal if they believe they are near enough for their kicker to kick the football between the upright bars of the goal post in the opposing end zone. Three points are awarded for a field goal.
If the field goal is successful, the team moves the ball back 10 yards to its one-yard line; if it fails, the team stays at its current position. A field goal does not need to be from distance; any attempt that goes through the uprights qualifies. However, since it is difficult to score from short range, most teams will try to go for the extra point instead.
The term "field goal" has been adopted by other sports, such as basketball and American football. In these sports, the term "field goal" refers to an attempt by a player from behind the free-throw line to shoot the ball through the basket with no time left on the clock. For example, in college basketball a field goal attempts to score during regulation time (five minutes per period during conference play, three minutes elsewhere). In the NBA, only five players on the court are allowed to touch the ball at any one time, so field goals are worth three points.
In soccer, when facing a penalty kick, some coaches may choose to kick for the center of the goal rather than trying to beat the goalkeeper.