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The torpedo punt (also known as screw punt or spiral punt) is a type of punt kick implemented in Rugby League, Rugby Union, Australian rules football, and more generally with an ellipsoidal football. The torpedo punt is the longest type of punt kick.
In flight, the ball spins about its long axis, instead of end over end (as the drop punt does) or not at all (as a typical punt kick does), making the flight of the ball more aerodynamic, but more difficult to catch (or mark in some football codes). The pointier ends make the ball easier to catch in American Football. With extra distance, this type of kick is also more difficult to accurately judge depth. If kicked correctly, an Australian football can travel up to 80 metres, while a normal punt will travel slightly less far.
In rugby codes, the skill was once frequently applied as clearing kicks by players in the backline. Its use in the rugby codes in similarly related almost entirely to clearing and distance kicks from a team's own territory.
In Australian rules football, the kick has become less common since the 1980s, as modern tactics have meant that accuracy has become typically more important than distance in field kicking; as such, coaches now prefer the use of the drop punt, and discouraging the use of the torpedo in general field play as a comparatively low percentage kick. The kick may still be seen when a player needs additional distance.
- Grubber kick
- Bomb kick
- Drop kick
- Drop punt (Australian Rules Football)
- Punt (American football)
- Checkside punt
- Snap kick
- YouTube video of Brendon Goddard's torpedo punt v Freo, Subiaco 2006
- Youtube video of Peter Riccardi kicking a 70 metre torpedo punt kick at Kardinia Park in Geelong