What is Considered an Impossible Score in Football?

What is considered an impossible score in football? Have you ever wondered if there are scores that seem utterly unattainable in this beloved sport? Football, with its thrilling touchdowns, field goals, and safeties, has always captivated fans worldwide. But there is something intriguing about those rare and elusive scores that are deemed nearly impossible to achieve.

In this blog post, we will delve into the concept of impossible scores in football, exploring their rarity, the factors that influence their likelihood, and even some historical examples that have left fans in awe.

Understanding the Scoring System in Football

The football scoring system is a fascinating aspect of the game. Let me break it down for you.

Touchdowns: The ultimate goal in football, a touchdown is worth six points. It occurs when an offensive player crosses the opponent’s goal line with possession of the ball or catches a pass in the end zone. It’s the most coveted score and a significant achievement that propels the team closer to victory.

Field Goals: When a team is within range of the opponent’s end zone but unable to reach it, they can attempt a field goal. If successful, it adds three points to the team’s score. Field goals are usually attempted when the offense cannot advance any further or wants to secure points before the end of a half or game.

Safeties: Safeties are rare but crucial scores that occur when the defense tackles an offensive player in their own end zone. It awards the defensive team two points and possession of the ball. Safeties often result from exceptional defensive plays or when the offense is pinned close to their own goal line.

Exploring Rare and Unusual Scores

What exactly constitutes an impossible score in football? Let’s dive into the world of rare and unusual scores and unravel the mystery.

Defining Impossible Scores: An impossible score in football refers to a combination of points that is highly unlikely or has never been achieved in the history of the sport. While there is no definitive list of impossible scores, they typically involve unusual combinations of touchdowns, field goals, safeties, and extra points that deviate from the common scoring patterns observed in regular games.

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The Rarity of Impossible Scores: Certain scores are considered nearly impossible due to the intricate nature of the game. Factors such as the rules, strategies, and statistics all contribute to the rarity of these scores. The complexity of orchestrating a specific sequence of events required to achieve an impossible score makes them incredibly challenging, if not outright unattainable.

Examples from Football History: Football history is filled with unexpected and astonishing scores that have left fans in awe. One notable example is the rare occurrence of a team scoring a single point in a game. This can happen when a safety is followed by a successful two-point conversion by the scoring team. Another remarkable instance is the “double eagle” score, which involves a team scoring eight points on a single play, achieved through a touchdown followed by a successful two-point conversion and a safety by the opposing team.

Factors Influencing the Likelihood of Impossible Scores

The possibility of achieving an impossible score in football is influenced by various factors. Let’s take a closer look at what determines the likelihood of these rare and extraordinary feats.

Game Strategies, Player Skills, and Rule Changes: The strategies employed by teams, the skills of individual players, and changes in the rules all play a significant role in the potential for impossible scores. Coaches and players constantly analyze the game and devise innovative strategies to outsmart their opponents. This can lead to unexpected plays and scoring opportunities that were previously considered impossible. Additionally, the exceptional skills of players, such as their speed, agility, and decision-making abilities, can create opportunities for uncommon scores.

Weather and Field Conditions: Weather conditions, such as heavy rain, strong winds, or extreme cold, can have a significant impact on the game. These conditions can affect the trajectory of the ball, the players’ footing, and overall gameplay. Unusual weather conditions can create unpredictable situations, increasing the likelihood of rare scores. Similarly, field conditions, such as a muddy or icy surface, can make it challenging for players to execute their usual strategies, potentially leading to unexpected scores.

Unforeseen Circumstances: Football is a dynamic and unpredictable sport, and unforeseen circumstances can contribute to the likelihood of impossible scores. Injuries to key players, unusual officiating decisions, or even equipment malfunctions can create opportunities for rare scoring situations. These unexpected events can disrupt the flow of the game and create unique circumstances that may never be replicated.

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Historical Examples of Impossible Scores

Throughout football history, there have been several notable instances where seemingly impossible scores were achieved. Let’s delve into some of these unique scoring moments, exploring the circumstances, context, and intriguing stories associated with them.

The “Music City Miracle”: One of the most famous examples of an impossible score occurred during the 1999 NFL playoffs. In a wildcard game between the Tennessee Titans and the Buffalo Bills, the Titans executed a last-second kickoff return. The ball was lateraled multiple times, ultimately resulting in a touchdown. This unexpected turn of events, known as the “Music City Miracle,” showcased the resilience and quick thinking of the Titans’ players, leaving fans and commentators in awe.

The Stanford-Cal “The Play”: Another remarkable instance took place in a college football game between Stanford and California in 1982. With only four seconds remaining, Stanford was leading by one point. Cal attempted a kickoff return, but following several laterals and a series of chaotic events, the ball reached the hands of Cal player Kevin Moen, who ran through the Stanford band and into the end zone for a touchdown. This extraordinary play, famously known as “The Play,” has become an iconic symbol of the unpredictability and excitement of college football.

Tom Dempsey’s Record-Breaking Field Goal: Tom Dempsey, a former NFL kicker, achieved an incredible feat in 1970. Despite being born with a deformed foot, Dempsey kicked a 63-yard field goal, setting a new NFL record. His remarkable kick, accomplished with a specialized shoe, showcased the power and determination of an athlete overcoming physical limitations.

The Role of Technology and Video Review

Advancements in technology have revolutionized the detection and review of scores in football. The introduction of video review systems has significantly impacted the game, ensuring greater accuracy and fairness in determining the validity of potentially impossible scores.

Video Review in Determining Validity: Video review, also known as VAR (Video Assistant Referee), allows officials to review questionable scoring situations using multiple camera angles and slow-motion replays. This technology has proven invaluable in cases where a score appears to defy the laws of physics or when the naked eye cannot accurately determine if a ball has crossed the goal line. By carefully analyzing the footage, officials can make more informed decisions, ensuring that deserving scores are recognized and incorrect or impossible scores are corrected.

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Preventing or Confirming Impossible Scores: Technology has played a crucial role in both preventing and confirming impossible scores. Goal-line technology, for instance, utilizes high-speed cameras and sensors to determine with precision whether the ball has fully crossed the goal line. This system has significantly reduced controversies surrounding disputed goals, eliminating the possibility of an impossible score being awarded.

Additionally, video review systems have helped prevent the occurrence of impossible scores by allowing officials to identify and rectify errors in real-time. If a score is initially awarded but upon review is deemed impossible due to a rule violation or other factors, the decision can be overturned, ensuring fairness and maintaining the integrity of the game.


What is considered an impossible score in football? 

An impossible score in football refers to a situation where a team earns points in a way that is against the rules or defies the laws of the game.

Can a team score directly from a throw-in? 

No, a team cannot score directly from a throw-in. According to the rules, the ball must touch another player before a goal can be scored.

Is it possible for a team to score from a goal kick? 

Yes, a team can score directly from a goal kick. If the ball is kicked from inside the goal area and crosses the opponent’s goal line without being touched, it counts as a goal.

Can a player score from an indirect free kick? 

Yes, a player can score from an indirect free kick, but only if the ball touches another player before entering the goal. The ball must make contact with another player to be considered a legal goal.

Is it possible to score a goal from the halfway line? 

Yes, it is possible to score a goal from the halfway line if the ball is kicked directly into the opponent’s goal without bouncing or touching any other player. However, such goals are extremely rare and considered exceptional feats.


The concept of impossible scores in football adds an extra layer of intrigue and fascination to the game. These rare occurrences, although extremely unlikely, have been witnessed throughout history, leaving fans in awe of the unpredictable nature of football.

From unexpected touchdowns to unusual safeties, these impossible scores bring excitement and surprise to the field. While they may be rare, they remind us of the endless possibilities within the game.

So, what are your thoughts on impossible scores in football? Have you ever witnessed or experienced an unusual score? We would love to hear your stories and insights. Share your thoughts in the comments below and let’s continue the conversation about the extraordinary world of football scores.

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