How to Play American Football
American football is a popular game played between two teams. Each team has 11 players on the field at a time. In professional games, players specialize in one position on either offense, defense, or special teams. The goal of the game is to score more points than the other team after four quarters of play. Before the game starts, each team is assigned a scoring area called an end zone. The game begins with a kickoff, where the defending team kicks the ball as far as they can toward their end zone.
To understand the rules of the game, first, you must learn how the down system works.
Whenever the offensive team takes the ball, they have four turns called downs to move the ball at least 10 yards by passing or running the ball. So, a play on second and sixth means that it’s the offensive team’s second turn with the ball, and they have six yards to go until they get 10 yards and earn a first down. If a team does get a first down, they get a new 10-yard target and a fresh set of downs. If a team makes four attempts and does not get 10 yards, the opposing team’s offense takes the ball and starts over on first down going the opposite direction from wherever the last play ended.
Many teams will choose to punt on fourth down rather than run a standard play if they aren’t close to the first down marker. A punt is where the offense voluntarily gives up possession of the ball by kicking it toward their end zone. A punt is often preferable to going for it on a fourth down because it will take the other team longer to get to their side of the field and potentially score.
There are three main ways that a team can score in American football
with the highest number of points awarded when a player takes the ball into their end zone for a touchdown. When a player scores a touchdown, their team is awarded six points. The offense can either kick the ball through the uprights for an additional one point called an extra point or run a normal play and attempt to score again for an additional two points called a two-point conversion. At any time, the offense may also try to kick a field goal by kicking the ball through the uprights.
This is common on a fourth down when the offensive team is close enough to the uprights to kick it but too far away from the first down line to risk going for it. If the kicker successfully kicks the ball through the uprights, their team is awarded three points. If they miss, the opposing team takes control of the ball wherever the last down took place.
Whenever a team scores, the scoring team kicks the ball off from a predetermined point on the field, and the team that was on defense takes the field on offense. After four quarters of play, the team with the most points is declared the winner.