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Understanding the Basics of American Football

Football is a team sport mostly played in the US and Canada by high school, college, and professional players. It is a dangerous sport because there is a lot of physical contacts. While millions of people watch the sport, not all of them understand how the game works because it is a difficult game to understand right away. It gets easier to understand the game after you have played it.

The object of the game is to score points by carrying the ball across the goal line of your opponent, or by kicking the ball through your opponent’s goal. Football is played by two opposing teams, of eleven players. Each team tries to move the ball down the field to score points by getting into the end zone guarded by its opponents. During a football game, the teams are designated as the offensive team and the defensive team. The offensive team is the team with possession of the ball. The defensive team is the team that defends a goal-line against an offensive team.

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The eleven players of the offensive team are divided into two groups: seven linemen, and four backfield players, called backs. The linemen play on the line of scrimmage and the backs play behind the linemen in various positions. The defensive team consists of a row of linemen, a row of linebackers, and a collection of defensive backs called the secondary. Players score points by running or passing the ball down the field until they reach the endzone, which is worth seven points. Or they can kick the ball through the other teams’ goal post, which is worth three points.

Meanwhile, the Defense is trying it’s hardest to stop the Offense from scoring points. After on team scores, they kick the ball to the opposing team to give them a chance to score. If a team can’t get a first down (move the ball ten yards toward the other team’s goal within four tries, they turn the ball over to the other team. At the end of 60 minutes, whatever team has the most points is declared the winner.

To protect themselves from violent body contact, players wear complicated equipment such as lightweight flexible padding covering the thighs, hips, shoulders, knees, and sometimes the forearms and hands. Players also wear plastic helmets with guards that cover most of the face, called facemasks.

Play is managed by officials. Professional and college football programs use seven officials. A referee, an umpire, a linesman, a field judge, a back judge, a line judge, and a side judge. All of the officials carry whistles and yellow penalty flags. They blow the whistles or throw the flags to show that a violation of the rules has been made. The referee is in charge of the game at all times. The referee supervises the other officials and enforces penalties.

The main objective of the game is to score more points than the opposing team. The offensive players pound the defensive players to get all the points they can. Football can be a dangerous sport if not properly prepared to play. These are the things people need to know to play football in a non-recreational environment.

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Understanding the Basics of American Football. (2021, Mar 13). Retrieved July 8, 2021, from