What are return yards?

Return Yards

Return yards is an American football and Canadian football statistical measure that takes several forms. In American and Canadian football, progress is measured by advancing the football towards the opposing team's Goal line. Progress can be made during play by the offensive team by advancing the ball from the its point of progress at the start of play known as the line of scrimmage or by the defensive team after taking possession of the football via a change of possession (such as punt, kickoff, interception, punt block, blocked kick or fumble). When the defensive team advances the ball during play after a change in possession, yardage is credited from the point of the change of possession. Such yardage is termed return yards. Punt returners and kick returners are commonly monitored statistically for their totals and averages. However, other types of return yardage such as interception return yards are also measured because the point on the field where a change in possession occurs is marked.

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Some articles on return yards:

Patrick Peterson - College Career - College Statistics
... Interceptions, INT-YDS = Interception Return Yards, INT – TDS = Interception Returned for Touchdown, AVG = Average yards per Interception, FR = Fumble Recoveries, FF = Fumble Forced, PR – ATT ...
George Hoey
... He led the Big Ten Conference in punt return yards in 1967 and 1968, and still holds Michigan's modern era (post-1949) records for most punt return yards in a game (140 ... Louis Cardinals club record with six kickoff returns for 206 yards, including one for 103 yards and a touchdown ... He had 534 kickoff return yards in his career ...
All-purpose Yardage
... All-purpose yards or All-purpose yardage is an American football and Canadian football statistical measure ... It is virtually the same as the statistic that some football leagues refer to as combined net yards ... the difference in progress measured in rushing yards ...
Torrey Smith - College Career - 2009 Season
... including ten as a starter, and he amassed 61 receptions for 824 receiving yards and five touchdowns, 51 kickoff returns for 1,309 yards and two touchdowns, and eleven rushing ... His kickoff return yardage surpassed the ACC single-season record that he had set the previous year ... the season ranked sixth in the nation in all-purpose yards ...

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