Sports Football

Rules And Regulations Of American Football


You always hear the term Football: play Football, watch Football. It is amazing that when it comes to football, American term is a completely different one: soccer. Soccer is in some ways similar to normal Football. However, there are minor differences. Like the rest of the world of football, American leagues also play against each other every now and then, and is a very popular sport in the country.


There are 11 players , a ball and the goal is to get the ball to the opponent’s end zone. So let’s see how they differ. First off, the ball is oval instead of a pure circle. Secondly, man from one team will possess the ball at the start of play (the offense) and their objective is to get the ball to the opponent team’s(the defenders) end zone (kick , run , tackle , throw any way possible). Compared with the traditional football, American soccer is just as much fun. Each team has 3 units: the defenders (who tackle the opponents offense team), offense team (players trying to score and have possession of the ball) and other teams  that are involved only in kicking situations. At all times, only 11 players can be on the field. Before starting the game, the referee calls on both teams and the visiting team gets to call the toss. The winner of the toss has 2 choices: either defer their choice for the second half of the game or choose for the first half. They choose whether to kickoff first or receive the kickoff and which side of the field they wish to defend in the first quarter. Then the team that doesn’t choose at the beginning of the first half, gets to choose before the second in the same manner as the first team did.


Usually college and professional Football has 60 minutes of game play on field divided into quarters (15 mins). The clock stops for many reasons. The referee who is in charge stops the game for any penalties, illegal passes, game plays or time-outs that any team calls for. So you can easily expect a typical Football game to stretch to 2-3 hrs. Just like regular Football or Soccer as known in the U.S, if the score is tied by the end of the quarters, a tie breaker overtime is allotted. This overtime can either be a normal extension in time or use a sudden-death rule: first team to score wins. The kind of rule varies across leagues. The runner or the person carrying the ball of the offense team is declared down if any part of the body is touching the ground excluding hands and feet. If the player is tackled, pushed or thrown down by the defenders cannot resume to run .The runner may intentionally down himself by simply kneeling during the play. A runner is also downed if he touches any  or crosses the sideline or end lines i.e must stay in boundaries. The football game starts with kick off when a special kicker from the offense team kicks the ball into the air and a team mate called the returner, will catch the ball and advance towards the defender’s end zone. If he is stopped, then that point is where the offenders will  begin their offensive plays. If the kick off is caught in their own end zone the returner can either down himself to continue game from the 20 yard line or run the ball out of the end zone. The play begins at the line of scrimmage which is an imaginary line. The quarterback calls out a code game in play and the center offense throws or hands him the ball which on possession, he can throw forward to make a pass to the runner or can run with it himself or pass it to another team runner. A ball is declared dead if the runner is downed, pass was incomplete, a team scores, the ball bounces back into field after hitting goal post or the runner crosses the boundaries (sidelines).

Tips and comments

Of Course like any game the objective is to score. American Football has 4 ways to score: extra -point: (1-2 points), Safety point  (2 Points), Field Goal (3 Points) or Touchdown (6 Points). Many penalties are assigned for any fouls that the offense or defense performs on the field. The referee calls the fouls and penalty is given as seen fit.  Most fouls occur during play. It’s not easy to understand  the American Football. I recommend watching one or two  games to understand them better because compared to football, American soccer is a bit difficult for first-timers.

By Amara, published at 01/10/2012
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