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Understanding the Basics of American Football

Football is a sport played on a 120-yard, rectangular field by two teams of 11 players, with goal lines at each end. A football is an oval-like inflated ball usually made from rubber or cowhide.

The offence, or the ball-controlled team, tries to advance the ball down the field by running or passing the ball, while the opposing team seeks to stop their progress and attempts to take control of the ball. At least 10 yards or 4 downs in the offence must be advanced or played or they must give the opposing team football over; a new set of four downs can be given if they succeed.

The object of American Football is to outscore the other team by one. This is achieved through the promotion of football and the achievement of as many points as possible. Scoring can be achieved as a touchdown, a conversion of an extra dot, a conversion of two dots, an area goal or safety.

The time for a football match is 60 minutes on the clock. The game is divided into two 30-minute halves and 15-minute four quarters. American Football has an average duration of 3 hours.

The Football Field

The playground is 100 meters long, and each team has a 10-yard-end zone. The field has lines that extend field width at 5-yard intervals. There are also shorter lines, called hash marks, which mark down the field per single yard interval. The football field has a width of 160 feet.


Two teams play against each other in Football. At any given time each team is allowed to have 11 men on the field. A penalty results in more than 11 players on the field. Unlimited substitutes are permitted, but players can enter the field only when the ball is dead and play stopped.

Starting the Game

The game starts when one of the teams starts to play football. At the centre of the field are the captains of each team, as well as the referee, to find out which side is the kicking team. The coin toss winner has the option to start the match by kick-off or kick-off from the other team and determines mainly if they want to commit offence first or defend themselves.

Methods of Scoring

The main aim of the offence is to get a touchdown. A player must carry the ball through the opponent target line to make a touchdown or catch a pass in the end zone. Once the ball crosses the plane while a player is in his possession, a touchdown is scored. There is a six-point touchdown. The team that scores a touchdown has the opportunity to try to add one or two more points. These are also conversion attempts at extra-points.

One Comment

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