A turnover means losing possession and delivery of the right attack a team in American football. This is American football serious, since it is difficult to score points without attacking law. There are three types of Turnovers: interception, fumble and turnover on downs.

Turnover types


The matched ball is intercepted by a defender (English: to intercept = intercept ) before it touches the ground. However, the key played attacker must not be hindered ( pass interference ). The Defender must the ball as far as possible wear, but do not fit to the front. So-called laterals, ie passports, in which to make the ball without a forward movement to the side or is fitted to the rear are the defender allowed, but very rare, since the chance of a renewed turnover by not catching the ball is quite large. A Lateralpass that has not been noted is a free ball and can also be backed up by the opposing team.


So-called fumbles (English: to fumble with sth = sth deal with clumsy ) can also lead to turnovers. The ball -carrying player drops the ball after he had him under control (one to two steps with the ball ) and before it touches the ground with any other part of the body as the hands or feet. This is usually due to a hard tackles or the targeted tugging on the ball -bearing arm ( Strip Ball). A fumble represents a turnover if the ball was secured by the opposing team. A fumble that was backed up by their own team, does not mean a loss of possession / turnover. The right of attack remains in the own team.

If the ball is still behind the scan line and has the quarterback still not thrown a pass, so there is only one turnover by fumble against the quarterback when he loses the ball without first having been obtained at a pass throw and securing the opposing team the ball could. Otherwise, the ball is considered incomplete pass and the play is - without changing attack right - ended.

A gefumbelter ball can be picked up by any player on the field and carried toward the opponent's end zone. Excluded are fourth tests and all moves of the last two minutes of each half ( not the NCAA ), where only the player who lost the ball, him after he himself has assured him again may continue wearing. If the fumble by another member of the Offense taken, the turn is over at this point. Roll a ball after a fumble forward into touch, the new play starts from the point of fumbles, without the right of attack changes. The ball rolls back into touch, the new turn begins there. Again, the right of attack does not change.

A ball unit according to one fumble in the end zone of the attacking team, and is received there by the Defense, which is a touch -down, while the rolling of the ball on the rear boundary of the end region is considered as a safety.

Turnover on Downs

The attacking team does not manage to get very far within four experiments ten yards (or meters in Europe ). The ball is passed to the point at which ended the fourth attempt at the other team. If a pass is not caught, the opposing team comes to the scan line in possession. After an assigned field goal attempt, the ball is, no matter the trial, also issued. In Europe, at the point where the move started ( LoS ) in the National Football League at the point at which the test was shot, but at least to their own 20 - yard line.


A special form is the so-called Muff Should dar. in a punt the ball on the receiving team taking only touch and not catch, the team that carried out the punt, pick up the ball and shall remain in possession. She has a new first attempt. A muff is not a fumble and represents the purposes of the rule definition actually no turnover dar.


  • Falken Verlag, American Football, The Official Rules Niedernhausen 1996, ISBN 3-8068-1673-5
  • Football technical term