Basics of Football
Football teams move a ball along a field using passing, catching, running, and kicking skills attempting to score points. Points are earned by scoring a touchdown (six points), an extra point (worth one or two points), a field goal (three points), or a safety (two points). A touchdown is scored when a player carries the ball or catches a pass over the opponent’s goal line in the end zone. The team scoring the greater number of points in the allotted time wins the game. Every offensive play from the line of scrimmage is called a “down.” The offense gets four downs to try to advance the ball at least ten yards. If successful, a “first down” is awarded, and the offensive team gets four more tries to gain ten yards. If, after three downs the offense does not think it will reach the first down marker it may choose to “punt” the ball. Possession of the football is then turned over to the defensive team.
A football, football jersey and pants, cleats, certified helmet with chin strap and face mask, protective pads for shoulders, hips, tailbone, thighs, and knees, a mouth guard, and an athletic supporter with cup.
How Long Is A Game?
A game is generally divided into four quarters (some youth leagues play two halves). Depending upon league rules, each quarter ranges from ten to fifteen minutes. There is a break at halftime. To start a game a coin is tossed to determine which team “kicks off” first. Teams switch sides after every quarter, and each side is permitted three time-outs per half. If the game ends in a tie, teams may play an overtime period of sudden death; the team to score first wins.
Any violation of the rules results in a penalty and/or a loss of a down. To signal that a penalty has occurred the referee tosses a yellow flag on the field.
-Before the ball is snapped, the offensive linemen must assume a set position. If a lineman jerks his body, the offense is penalized five yards.
-Occurs when a player crosses the “neutral zone” prior to the ball being snapped. This violation costs the offense five-yards.
-When a player blocks an opponent from behind and below the waist, the result is a fifteen-yard penalty.
-Called against any player who uses his hands or arms in an attempt to restrain an opponent moving without the ball. Holding results in a ten-yard penalty.
-A player may not bump, grab, or hinder the progress of another player attempting to catch a pass. This violation may be called against an offensive or defensive player. It yields a yardage penalty or the ball is placed at the spot where the penalty occurred.
-Occurs when a player grabs an opponent’s face mask. The resulting penalty is fifteen yards, unless it is deemed unintentional, then it is only five yards.