The Rules of American Football

American football is 11 players versus 11 players.

The team with the ball, the offense, wants to move the ball all the way to the other end of the field to score points. The team without the ball, the defense, wants to stop them.

The defense stops the offense by tackling the player with the ball. The offense can move the ball by throwing it (“the forward pass”) or by running it.

Flags in Football

A penalty is called when one of the referees throws a yellow “flag.” Flags can cost the opposing team a penalty of yards, loss of downs, time run off the clock, and, in some cases, ejection of players. You can find every flag and penalty in American football here.

How long is a football field?

The American football field is 100 yards long, with an additional 10 yards on each end of the field called the “endzone.” (So the field is actually 120 yards in total.) The end zone is where the offense wants to move the ball to in order to score. The football field is 53.3 yards wide.

How do teams score in football?

There are multiple ways that teams can score points in football.

A “touchdown” is worth six points. A touchdown occurs when a team moves the ball all the way to the end of the field into the “endzone.”

Following all touchdowns is an “extra point attempt.” The offense can elect to kick the ball to potentially earn one extra point, or run a play with their offense for a chance to earn two extra points.

Teams can score three points by kicking and making a “field goal.” A field goal is a kick that goes through the yellow goalposts, situated at the back of the endzone on each side of the field. A made field goals earns a team three points; a missed field goal, however, gives the other team the ball.

Why is football popular?

American football is generally loved for its competitiveness, physical nature, intense atmosphere, and the level of strategy involved in the game. American football games are known to be loud and rowdy events. Football is a full-contact, physical sport that involves a high level of tactical skill and strategy to win—making each game intriguing to watch.