The kickoff which starts a football game or other event is usually spelled as one unhyphenated word.
- The Nguyens watched every Grey Cup game, from the kickoff to the trophy presentation.
The phrasal verb kick off does not take a hyphen. It can be used as an informal synonym for “begin.”
- Fireworks normally kick off Ottawa’s Winterlude celebrations.
Kick off is also a synonym for “remove forcibly or officially.” Kick out (which is also unhyphenated) can be used in this sense as well.
- Zack was kicked off his hockey team because of his violent temper.
- Jenny and Jody were kicked out of the fast-food restaurant for starting a food fight.
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