Football is a traditional game which is played in many countries for numerous years. As variations occurred, different yet similar games were started playing like Rugby and soccer. However, football has its own importance. If you want to learn to play this game, it’s better to know the rules of the games and basics. This way it will be easier for you to learn play the game.
1 – Players
• American Football is played between 2 teams of 11 players each. Each team can pick any number of substitutes.
• There are two types of teams in a game – offensive and defensive. Whether a team will play offense or defense will be decided by a coin toss.
• The offensive unit is composed of a quarterback, center, running back (also referred to as rusher, tailback, or halfback), fullback, wide receiver, tight end, left and right guards, and left and right tackles. On the other hand, the defensive unit is composed of a defensive tackle (2 members), defensive end (2 members), linebacker (3 members, sometimes 4), safety, and cornerback.
2 – How the Game starts
• The start of the game is called a kick off. The visiting team captain calls for heads or tails. The winning captain gets to decide either receive the ball or kick it.
• Mostly the decision is taken according to the weather condition. For instance, if the captain believes that the wind direction will help his team score in the second half or the sun is directly in their eye in the first half, he can decide to defend a goal and then receive the ball in the second half of the game.
• Whatever the toss-winning team captain chooses, at the start of the 3rd quarter the teams interchange the positions and play.
3 – Time
• Each game is divided into two halves and each half comprises of two quarters i.e. four quarters in two halves.
• In professional Football Leagues, each quarter runs for 15 minutes.
• Other instances where the clock stops are injury, penalty, touchdown, field goal, safety, change in possession of the ball, last 2 minutes of the period (for NFL game), and a NFL coach challenging the referee’s call.
• In a NFL game, the game clock is restarted after a kickoff return, or after a player goes out of bounds, or the referee declines a penalty. However, the last 2 minutes of the first half and the last 5 minutes of the second half (NFL only) are immune to restarting of the game clock.
• In American football, the offensive unit can keep possession of the ball as long as it keeps making first downs.
4 – The field
• The gridiron is a rectangular field- 100 yards by 160 yards.
• There are 2 end zones at each end of the field which is 10 feet long.
• The teams (offensive and defensive units) have opposite halves of the gridiron as their territory.