Football basics to understanding this complicated, but exciting sport! Football is a complicated sport.

There are many strategies, positions, plays -- enough to confuse someone who did not grow up watching it. These basics will get you started on the way toward loving the sport. If you understand the basic information presented here, your viewing enjoyment with increase enormously. Here is a guide to viewing, with frequently asked questions. What is the goal of the game of football? The goal is for the team to move the ball to the opponent's endzone and score more points than the other team. How are points scored? Points are scored with touchdowns (6 points), the extra point after a touchdown (1 point), field goals (3 points) and safeties (2 points). How can a team move the ball to the other team's end zone? And what is an end zone? Each football field has two end zones, one at either end of the 100 yard field. There are goal posts at the end zone. The ball can be moved by throwing it (called passing) or running it (called rushing). What is a down and a first down? When a team has the ball, they can move down the field toward the opponent's end zone in 10-yard increments. They get four "attempts" to move the ball ten yards. Each attempt is called a "down." If they successfully move the ball ten yards or more, it is called a First Down. Why is a First Down so special?

It means the team can have four more attempts (downs) to get another First Down. If the ball has traveled ten yards from the last line of scrimmage. As long as they keep getting First Downs. Where he stops. He can run until he is tackled or forced out of bounds. forming an alley that he can run through. without getting tackled or running out of bounds." This rusher is often called a running back. toward the opponent's end zone. they stay in possession of the ball. Think of the joy the other team feels if they block the play from being started! They can do this by tackling the quarterback. What are all those really big guys doing? They are blocking. the place where he stopped is the line of scrimmage for the next play. (There are other backs. What is a sack? The quarterback begins each play. To do this. but that gets confusing and goes beyond the basics. They do not have to turn it over to their opponent. the play has ended and it is the line of scrimmage for the next play. When the ball is caught." A "wide receiver" is one position who is eligible to catch the ball. Who gives the ball to a runner? The quarterback gives the ball to the person who "rushes.) The running back runs with the ball as far as he can. They also protect the runner. their tacklers have to break through . Who throws the ball? The quarterback passes the ball. If the runner achieved a first down. a first down has occurred. The point where this happens is called the new line of scrimmage and is the starting point for the next play. Offensive blockers protect the quarterback so he can pass or hand off the ball. The person who catches the ball is the "receiver. the receiver tries to run toward the end zone.

Six points are scored. when the ball changes teams. Are offensive and defensive players all the same people? No. Or. What is an interception? An interception occurs when the quarterback passes the ball and it is caught by the other team. if the penalty is . the goal is to achieve yards toward the end zone. one extra point can be scored if the kicker can kick the ball through the goal posts. Their tackle of the quarterback is called a sack. the offense of one team goes off field and their defense comes in. What is offense? Offense is the team in possession of the ball. Two points can be scored if the offensive team runs or throws the ball (and it is caught) in the end zone. or run into the end zone by a player. In other words. Why are penalties so bad? In football. Penalties punish teams by taking away yards that they earned. What is defense? Defense is defending their end zone. What is a touchdown? A touchdown occurs when the ball is caught by a player in the end zone. they are the team that does not have the ball. who then gains possession of the ball.the offensive line and get to the quarterback while he still has the ball. Is there an extra point after a touchdown? Yes. The new team with the ball sends its defense to the sideline and brings out its offense.

time outs. .against the defense. But between scoring. What is a Field Goal? A Field Goal earns three points. it makes the other team travel further in their attempt to score a touchdown. but they hope the kicker can score. I know. Why do teams punt? If a team is having trouble making a first down and they are too far from the goal posts to kick a field goal. but they do not want the other team to have good field position. There. isn’t it? Well. In essence. it’s simple. What happens is that. in many cases. They may be 30. but the basic principles of the game are pretty simple. 4 X15 doesn’t exactly add up to three hours. you’ll be surprised how quickly one hour becomes three. Rather than chance losing the ball to the team (since they are having trouble getting a first down). This is not in conjunction with a touchdown. 40. and the clock stopping. The game consists of four fifteen-minute quarters of playing time. the offensive team can be rewarded with additional yards. it’s a little more complicated than that. Understanding the basics of football is the first step in a life long appreciation for the sport. they punt the ball toward the opponent's end zone. By punting the ball. and is scored when the kicker kicks the ball through the goal posts. BASICS OF FOOTBALL The team with the most points wins. they are giving possession to the opposing team. the team is close to the opponent's end zone but is having trouble getting a first down. which equals out to be about three hours. they make a field goal attempt. or even more yards away from the goal posts.

) Now. they start fresh. but the ten yards are from the line of scrimmage. let’s say on the first down the quarterback throws a pass eight yards. if the quarterback had dropped back three yards and been sacked (tackled behind the line of scrimmage when in possession of the ball). The half is over and when the second half starts. No matter who has the ball. he is out of bounds and the play is dead at that spot. Like I said they have four tries to get them. two sides switch sides. there is no loss of yards. (That’s a good phrase to know. After the second quarter there is a fifteen minute intermission known as half time. I don’t think they had time to shower. because the ball only advanced five yards from the line of scrimmage. The offense is given four tries to advance the ball (at least) ten yards. But just how that is accomplished is not so easy. and ending when the ball is called dead. meaning second down and five yards to go. Remember if the quarterback throws an incomplete pass. or play is called a down. They can either: pass the ball – where the defense will attempt to either intercept (catch) or knock the ball away from the receiver or run the ball – where the defense will attempt to stop the ball carrier by either tackling or running him out of bounds.After the first and third quarter there is a two minute break. and play continues exactly where it left off.) Looking ahead: How to face the future after significant loss Coping with change in your life?: Talk to a mentor The object of the game is to move the ball down the field in order to score points. Now they don’t have to get those ten yards all at once. It is now second and five. known as a gain of five. If a player steps on the sideline. starting the moment the ball is put into play. that’s it. So. . Remember – each attempt. (Although I don’t know how fresh they are. from the original line of scrimmage. but he drops back (takes a few steps back to give himself some room to throw) three yards while looking for an eligible receiver. He has only advanced five yards. and where they have it. it would have been second and thirteen – the original ten plus the three yards he lost when he was sacked.

If they don’t get it (the defense holds them back). ask him if thinks they’ll be able to convert. it’s first and ten. They’ve just “converted” that fourth down into another first down.they can go for the three points. not only do they lose possession of the ball. there is a loss of yards and a loss of a down. If they go for it and make it. If they go for it it’s usually because they only need a yard or even less. it is the fourth down and they have three options: 1. Now the third down is very important. But if they punt. 2. but the other team gains possession with good field position. if after the third down the offense has not been able to advance ten yards. But. Just as if they complete the ten yards on the third down. They can go for the fourth down. That’s known as a fourth down conversion. If the third down is successful – the offense gets the necessary yardage to complete the full ten yards – they start over. (Next time you’re watching the game with your guy. it’s another first down. If they are in field goal range.only a loss of a down. at least they can get the ball deep into the opposing team’s territory. and they’re probably going to try and push their way through. They can punt. when your team is on it’s third down. What? You’ve never seen him speechless before?) . that would be a third down conversion. Four more tries to get ten more yards. but that’s not done often. They may pass the ball. Now if they get it. But if he is sacked. 3.

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