Everything You Need to Know about the Sport American Football

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Everything You Need to Know about the Sport American Football

Everything You Need to Know about the Sport American Football


team sports football - Ohio Fitness Garage


Football has eclipsed basketball and baseball as the most popular sport in North America, but doesn’t have as strong of a reach throughout the world. Oddly enough, college football was established in 1869, with the first professional football organization not emerging until 1920. Football’s most prominent league is by far the National Football League (NFL).


How to play Football


Because football is a sport that involves contact and collisions on practically every play, you’ll need to suit up in some pads and a protective helmet with a faceguard before playing. Football is played on either turf or natural grass, so you’ll also need rubber cleats to run and cut effectively.


In a competitive game, football requires two teams to field 11 offensive and 11 defensive players in many different positions. Football rosters, however, can be close to 50 players because of different formations and the quick fatigue that sets in when playing the sport.


Rules of Football


  • On defense, a team will usually field two tackles, two ends, up to three linebackers, two cornerbacks, and two safeties. On offense, a team will field one quarterback, a running back or fullback, a center, two guards and tackles, two tight ends, and two wide receivers. These positions can change drastically with different formations.
  • From endzone to endzone, the playing field is 100 yards long. From sideline to sideline, the playing field is 160 feet wide. There are uprights in each endzone, which are 18 feet 6 inches wide, with a crossbar that is 10 feet above the ground.
  • The game starts with a coin-toss, where field position is decided. A kickoff then follows in a battle of special teams. Kickoffs occur after scoring drive.
  • There are four, 15 minute quarters in professional football. There is a halftime intermission after the first two quarters have been completed.
  • Each possession allows for four downs. To reach a fresh set of downs, a team will normally have to gain 10 yards. Downs and field position can also be affected by penalties.
  • Time can be stopped with a timeout (each team has three per half), an injury, if a player runs out of bounds, or if a pass falls incomplete.
  • The most common ways to score is by touchdown -- catching a pass or running with the ball into your opponent's endzone, or kicking a field goal -- kicking the ball through the yellow uprights. There’s also a safety, which occurs when the defender tackles their opponent in their own endzone. This accounts for two points and a turnover.
  • The team with the most points at the end is deemed the winner. If there’s a tie, then the teams will play one quarter of overtime with its own set of rules. Regular season games can end in a tie, but playoff games cannot.


There are hundreds of different plays that can be ran on any given down, which makes football one of the most strategic sports out there. Penalties are another factor of the game, which could result in anything from loss of downs to loss of yards.


Written by Devin Pickell

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