How to Play American Football for Beginners

I love football and enjoy educating people on how the game works .Learn how the sport of American football works. Learn how the sport of American football works. Carly Sullens

football is a team sport that is played on a rectangular plain. The object of the game is to get the egg-shaped football down the field, either by running it or passing it. The finish is to get the football into the adversary ‘s end zone. There are assorted positions and rules at play, and this this article will explain the basics of the frolic to those that are unfamiliar with it. here is a basic summation of how a football game works .

  • Scoring is done by the team on offense. Their objective is to get the ball to the end zone of their opponent. This is done by either running or passing the ball down the field.
  • The team on offense has four downs to move the ball 10 yards forward. A down is basically an attempt to move the ball forward. If a team fails to advance 10 yards after four downs, the ball is turned over to the opposing team. (Note that the CFL only uses three downs.)
  • On the fourth down, a team has the option to either attempt a field goal or a punt. A field goal is usually attempted within 40 yards.
  • A game is divided into four quarters that last 15 minutes each. There is a halftime break between the second and third quarter.
  • A game usually begins with a coin flip between the team captains. Whoever wins the coin flip chooses to either kick off or receive the opening kickoff. The other team is given the same choice at the start of the second half.

Time: Football games are divided up into two halves or four quarters. The clock does n’t run all of the meter. It gets stopped for timeouts and between certain plays .

  • In high school, each quarter is 12 minutes long.
  • In college and NFL, each quarter is 15 minutes.

Dimensions: The field is 100 yards ( 300 feet ) long and 53 1/3 yards ( 160 feet ) across-the-board .

  • At each end of the field is an end zone. This area extends the field another 10 yards on each side.

Field Goal: Centered at the end of the end partition is the field finish. The bottom of the field finish is 10 feet high. Field Position: Where the offense starts with the ball determines how army for the liberation of rwanda they have to go to score. good playing field position can mean the dispute between scoring or not scoring. many times the team with the best field place throughout the game wins. Jersey Numbers: Each player has a phone number on their new jersey. In the NFL, certain positions must have a act within a certain range .

  • 1–9: Quarterback, kicker, punter
  • 10–19: Quarterback, wide receiver, kicker, punter
  • 20–29: Running back, cornerback, safety
  • 30–39: Running back, cornerback, safety
  • 40–49: Running back, tight end, cornerback, safety
  • 50–59: Offensive line, defensive line, linebacker
  • 60–69: Offensive line, defensive line
  • 70–79: Offensive line, defensive line
  • 80–89: Wide receiver, tight end
  • 90–99: Defensive line, linebacker
Points Name Definition
6 touchdown In order to score a touchdown, some parcel of the ball must cross the goal line while it ‘s in the possession of an dysphemistic player .
1 Extra Point—After a touchdown The kicker kicks the ball between the goalpost and above the crossbar .
2 Two-Point Conversion—After a touchdown rather of going for an excess orient, the ball is taken across the goal line again as if scoring an immediate second touchdown .
3 Field Goal The kicker kicks the ball between the goalpost and above the crossbar. This is attempted during the fourth down .
2 safety A base hit is scored if the opponent travels backwards into their own endzone and is tackled in the end zone or steps out of bounds in the end zone .

A down is basically a football act, or the meter when the ball is played. A down begins with a break down to the quarterback or kicker and ends when the ball or the player in possession of the ball is declared down by an official. Downs usually end when:

  • The player with the ball is tackled.
  • The team scores.
  • The ball or player in possession of the ball steps out of bounds.
  • The player with the ball fumbles or drops the ball.
  • The quarterback throws an incomplete pass or deliberately throws the ball to the ground.
  • A player recovering the ball in their opponent’s end zone after a kickoff drops to one knee.

When the team has possession of the football, their umbrage will have four downs to move the football 10 yards. If the offensive team gains 10 yards or more, than the polish start over. If they do not gain 10 yards within four tries, the opposing team gets monomania of the football. If they fail at the fourth try, the other team gets possession of the testis at the topographic point where the ball last went down. A team will normally punt the ball on their fourth try to get it as far away from the adversary ‘s goal as they can. When you hear the announcer say 2nd and 7, he is basically saying this is the second base down and the umbrage needs to move the ball 7 more yards to complete 10 yards. After the 10 yards are completed, the downs will start over again, allowing the offense to get closer to the goal channel and score. important downs and yards you will hear the announcer say include :

  • 1st and 10: This means the offense has possession of the ball and has 4 tries to move the ball 10 yards.
  • 1st and goal: This means the offense has possession of the ball and the goal line is within less than 10 yards; they have 4 tries to make a touchdown.
  • 4th and 2+: At this point, the offense has to decide if they will try to move the ball to gain another 1stdown, punt the ball to the other team to move it further away from the other team’s goal line, or they could try for a field goal.
  • 4th and 1: Sometimes teams will try to move the ball one yard to gain another set of downs. If they fail, the other team gets possession of the ball at the spot where the ball was last downed.

Orange markers indicate the line to gain. orange markers indicate the line to gain. Carly Sullens The orange discipline markers on the sidelines are used to help determine if the discourtesy gained 10 yards. They are used when it is besides near for the officials to determine if the football placement on the last play had indeed gained 10 yards or more. There is a chain between the two markers. When the makers all pulled tautly, they measure precisely 10 yards. The number marker on the sidelines indicates what down the offense is playing .

  Position Role in Game Strengths Famous Example
1 Center In the middle of the nauseating line, the focus on snaps the football to the quarterback, and then blocks . Big, potent, able to block . Mike Webster, Pittsburgh Steelers
2 Left Guard Protect the quarterback and open holes for the running backs . Big, potent, able to block . Jerry Kramer, Green Bay Packers
3 Right Guard Protect the quarterback and open holes for the track backs . Big, strong, able to block . Gene Upshaw, Oakland Raiders
4 Left Tackle Protect the quarterback . Big, potent, able to block . Anthony Munoz, Cincinnati Bengals
5 Right Tackle Protect the quarterback . Big, potent, able to block . Dan Dierdorf, St. Louis Cardinals
6 Tight End Tight ends are combination of offensive linemen and receivers . Big, impregnable, fast, and have good hands . Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City Chiefs
7 Quarterback The world in charge. He calls the signals to begin the plays. He is the primary ball animal trainer. The quarterback may run with the ball, hand it off to a run back, or pass the football to a telephone receiver . Leadership, strong, good passer, be able to see the field, read the defensive structure, and make good decisions quickly . Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers
8 Running Back fully backs are a type of running back whose main occupation is to block. They normally run in presence and block for another running back that is carrying the football impregnable, fast, and able to see the field and promptly cut toward openings in the defense . Jim Brown, Cleveland Browns
9 Running Back Their independent job is to carry the football, but running backs besides need to block during passing plays . firm, fast, and able to see the battlefield and promptly cut toward openings in the defense mechanism . Walter Payton, Chicago Bears
10 Wide Receiver The main aim of these players is to get open and catch passes . travel rapidly, ability to catch the football . Jerry Rice, San Francisco 49ers
11 Wide Receiver The main objective of these players is to get open and catch passes . speed, ability to catch the football . Cris Carter, Minnesota Vikings

American football positions on the field. American football positions on the field. Carly Sullens

  Position Role in Game Strengths Famous Example
1 Middle Line Backer Plays at the center of the Defense line . Big, firm player who can clog up the center and make it hard for the offense team to run the musket ball . Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens
2 Defensive Tackle Inside force of the defensive lineage . Big, hard, able to tackle . Joe Greene, Pittsburgh Steelers
3 Defensive Tackle Inside force of the defensive line . Big, strong, able to tackle . Alan Page, Minnesota Vikings
4 Defensive End Main objective is to rush the passerby and to keep any race plays from getting outside . big and strong, but besides debauched so they can get around the outside and to the quarterback . Gino Marchetti, Baltimore Colts
5 Defensive End Main aim is to rush the passer and to keep any race plays from getting outside . large and potent, but besides flying so they can get around the outside and to the quarterback . Reggie White, Green Bay Packers
6 Line Backer normally the main tacklers on the defense . Fast and good tacklers . Lawrence Taylor, New York Giants
7 Line Backer normally the chief tacklers on the defense . Fast and good tacklers . Dick Butkus, Chicago Bears
8 Corner Back Cover the wide receivers and try to prevent them from catching a pass, besides help course backers.

speed, able to read plays . Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks
9 Corner Back Cover the wide receivers and try to prevent them from catching a die, besides help line backers . speed, able to read plays . Charles Tillman, Chicago Bears
10 Safety Safeties are there to prevent big plays. At least one safety tries to stay behind the broad receivers if they should pass the cornerbacks . rush, effective tackler . Chuck Cecil, Houston Oilers
11 Safety Safeties are there to prevent big plays. At least one safety tries to stay behind the wide receivers if they should pass the cornerbacks . speed, dear tackler . Ronnie Lott, San Francisco 49ers

A punter in the act of kicking a ball. A punter in the act of kicking a ball. cgilmour, CC : BY via flickr

What Are Special Teams?

offensive and defensive teams play a considerable come of time in a football game, but there is a third adjust of players that play an important role in every game—the special teams. The particular teams include :

  • The kickoff unit.
  • The punting unit.
  • The punt return and kickoff return unit.
  • The field goal and extra point unit.

The kickers are members of the particular teams in football. They have very specialize skills and roles to play in the crippled .

  Position Role in Game Strengths Famous Example
1 Punter Kicks punts . flexibility, strong legs, able to control his distance to stop the ball inside the 20 yard note . Ray Guy, Oakland Raiders
2 Field Goal kicker Kicks field goals and extra points . flexibility, solid legs, able to perform under atmospheric pressure . Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts
3 Holder Holds the ball for the field goal kicker . able to catch, brace, able to pass if needed . Steve Weatherford, New York Giants
4 Long Snapper Snaps the ball to the punter . potent, good hearer . Patrick Mannelly, Chicago Bears

here is a number of common penalties that can occur in a football game .

  • Blocking below the waist: This is an illegal block below the waist from either an offensive or defensive player.
  • Block in the back: This is when a blocker tackles a non-ballcarrying opponent from behind and above the waist.
  • Chop block: This is when an offensive player hits a cut block (a hit at the knees) on a defending player that is already being blocked by another offensive player.
  • Clipping: A blocker hits a non-ballcarrying opponent from behind and below the waist.
  • Delay of game: This is any type of action that delays the next play.
  • Encroachment: This is when a defensive player crosses the line of scrimmage before the snap and makes contact with an opposing player.
  • Face mask: This is when a player grabs an opponent’s face mask while attempting a block or tackle.
  • False start: This is when an offensive player illegally moves before the snap of the ball.
  • Helmet-to-helmet collision: This is when a player’s helmet collides with another helmet.
  • Holding: This is pulling or grabbing an opponent besides the ball carrier while attempting to prevent a block or to cover a receiver.
  • Horse-collar tackle: This is tackling another player by grabbing inside their shoulder pads or jersey.
  • Ineligible receiver downfield: This is when a receiver is past the line of scrimmage before the forward pass.
  • Intentional grounding: This is when a forward pass is intentionally thrown as incomplete. This is typically done to avoid the loss of yardage or to stall for time.
  • Pass interference: This is making contact with the intended receiver after the ball has been thrown and before it has been touched by another player.
  • Roughing the passer: This is when a defender continues to try to tackle a passer after they have thrown the ball.
  • Roughing the kicker: This is when a defender tackles a kicker after failing to block a kick.
  • Spearing: This is when you tackle an opponent with your helmet.
  • Unfair act: This refers to any type of flagrant and illegal act that can have a major impact o the game.
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct: This refers to any action or manner of speaking that is deemed as objectionable by officials.

here is a flying summation of how the NFL is structured and how the season is played out .

  • The NFL consists of 32 teams. The league is divided into two conferences; the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference. Each conference consists of 16 teams.
  • Each conference consists of four divisions (East, North, South, and West). There are four teams within each division.
  • After the 16-week regular season, the top team from each division will go to the playoffs. They will be seeded one through four. The top two teams will get a bye in the first round and go on to the divisional playoffs.
  • After the division winners have placed, the next best two teams from the conference will be selected as wild cards. These two teams will compete with the division winners that placed as the third and fourth seed.
  • The winners of the first round of the playoffs will face the first and second seed teams in the divisional playoffs. The winners from this round will then compete in the Conference Championship game.
  • The NFC champions and AFC champions will then face each other in the Super Bowl.

© 2013 Carly Sullens Carly Sullens (author) from St. Louis, Missouri on June 28, 2018 : Thank you for the feedback Thatcher. your mama on March 20, 2018 : amazing xxricky on December 31, 2017 : it is very helpful now when in develop up im a judge to be a professional ethan on December 08, 2017 : amazing instructions Thatcher on November 16, 2017 : Nice hub ! I would like you to tell me more about footbal Christopher on December 15, 2016 : good good dependable. Carly Sullens (author) from St. Louis, Missouri on June 19, 2013 : Hi Rose, I am glad you understand football a bunch better. Thank you for sharing and voting up. It is constantly appreciated. Carly Sullens (author) from St. Louis, Missouri on June 19, 2013 : jdw7979, thank you ! I appreciate your comments. rose-the planner from Toronto, Ontario-Canada on June 19, 2013 : belly laugh … … .this is an amazing article ! It has decidedly helped me to understand the frolic a lot better. It ‘s no wonder that you made HOTD, this was excellent. Congratulations and thank you for sharing. ( Voted Up ) -Rose jdw7979 on June 19, 2013 : Nice hub ! I enjoyed the read, and as a former player and current fan, appreciate the ideas and study arrange into this HUB.. Carly Sullens (author) from St. Louis, Missouri on June 19, 2013 : TeaPartyCrashers, I like your estimate of adding common offense and defensive plays. I think I will make another hub for that, because this one is already drawn-out and I wanted to keep the information a simpleton as I could a not to overwhelm the lector who knows little to nothing about football. Thank you for the suggestions ! Carly Sullens (author) from St. Louis, Missouri on June 19, 2013 : Cyndi, thank you for reading and commenting. I am beaming this hub can help you understand this game a little moment more. Carly Sullens (author) from St. Louis, Missouri on June 19, 2013 : Toyasting, Thank you for stopping by, reading and commenting. I hope your brother enjoys the hub. Carly Sullens (author) from St. Louis, Missouri on June 19, 2013 : thebiologyofleah, I am glad this hub pulls it all together for you. It is a hard frolic to learn because of all the intricacies of the rules, positions, etc. however, once you ‘get it, ‘ the game becomes that more stimulate because you understand precisely what the unsavory and defensive need to accomplish in holy order to win. Leah Kennedy-Jangraw from Massachusetts on June 19, 2013 : Great Hub, very deserving of Hub of the Day. I was so aroused to see this when I logged on because I have been meaning to read up on the basics of football. I enjoy watching with my family during the season and I understand the identical basics but this article helps tie everything together for me. Thank you ! Toy Tasting from Mumbai on June 19, 2013 : Carly, This was an concern take. I shall send the link to my buddy, he barely loves this sport. Congratulations on HOTD ! Cheers : ) Cynthia Calhoun from western NC on June 19, 2013 : Haha … congrats on HOTD ! And a great topic, besides. I know nothing about football, but I ‘ll come here when I need a refresher. : ) TeaPartyCrasher from Camp Hill, PA on June 19, 2013 : One quick note, I have never heard the condition “ Place Holder ” used ; normally that person is equitable called the “ Holder ”. May I suggest for part 2, you look at park offense plays like the embroil, trap, screen authorize, etc. besides looking at some basic defensive alignments 4-3 and 3-4 a well as blitz, etc. Carly Sullens (author) from St. Louis, Missouri on June 16, 2013 : Thank you ParadigmEnacted. It is a good pugnacious delineate and elementary for those who are precisely learning the game. ParadigmEnacted on June 16, 2013 : good crude outline. I ‘d recommend this to certain people. Carly Sullens (author) from St. Louis, Missouri on June 15, 2013 : Chace, I think many people, ma ‘s and women particularly like football but do not actually understand. once you understand it better I think the crippled becomes that much more excite. I hope she likes the hub. Carly Sullens (author) from St. Louis, Missouri on June 15, 2013 : aud99, I am beaming this hub helped. I did n’t know Australia had a football. Something I would like to know more about. : ) Carly Sullens (author) from St. Louis, Missouri on June 15, 2013 : Tara, thank you for stopping by. The different positions and their names is where I besides need to keep studying. I like that in the pros the phone number ranges indicate the positions. That is helpful when spotting individual players from the team. Chace from Charlotte, NC on June 14, 2013 : Awesome hub ! : ) Great layout and I love the tables. My mother needs to read this because she loves football but has no mind how it works … I think she just watches it for the dudes, lol ! Audrey on June 13, 2013 : I can never understand American football. I can understand australian football though. I think that is simpler in terms of the rules. nowadays, if I ‘m confuse about the game, I know where to read up on it ! Tara on June 13, 2013 : Loved it ! Lets play musket ball ! The kids and I enjoyed learning about the different positions. I will keep this close by when the season starts.. Carly Sullens (author) from St. Louis, Missouri on June 13, 2013 : Thank You MsDora. When I was a short girl my dad was my interpreter. I asked a set of questions, but it helped make the game more exciting because I could understand what I was cheering for. Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on June 13, 2013 : I had no mind about the new jersey numbers. As a rule, I lone watch the game if I ‘m with an spokesperson. This is having lived in the US for most of my life. You did a very good job in explanations. Another HOB ? Great job ! Carly Sullens (author) from St. Louis, Missouri on June 13, 2013 : pmarinov, I am glad it helps. Thank you for voting up and sharing. Blogger at Best from Detroit MI on June 12, 2013 : very detail and well written hub ! Thank you, this hub will be very helpful to people outside the US who are just getting into the American Football universe. Voted up and utilitarian ! Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 12, 2013 : I go through it a couple of times a year as my better one-half ‘s family comes where there is no such thing, but they can see it on satellite. Carly Sullens (author) from St. Louis, Missouri on June 12, 2013 : Thank you Eric. It did take some time. I hope it would be useful to those who are trying to understand this perplex sport.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 12, 2013 : just fantastic. Well done — this took some work. I like it !

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