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American football - the Game

American football

American football, known in the United States and Canada simply as football, is a competitive team sport known for its physical roughness despite being a highly strategic game. The object of the game is to score points by advancing the football into the opposing team's end zone. The ball can be advanced by carrying it, throwing it, or by handing it from one teammate to the other. Points can be scored in a variety of ways, including carrying the ball over the goal line, throwing the ball to another player past the goal line or kicking it through the goal posts on the opposing side. The winner is the team with the most points when the time expires and the last play ends.

Advancing the ball in American football resembles the six-tackle rule and the play-the-ball in rugby league. The team that takes possession of the ball (the offense) has four attempts, called downs, to advance the ball 10 yards towards their opponent's (the defense's) end zone. When the offense gains 10 yards, it gets a first down, which means the team has another set of four downs to gain yet another 10 yards or score with. If the offense fails to gain a first down (10 yards) after 4 downs, possession of the ball is given to the opposing team.

Except at the beginning of halves and after scores, the ball is always put into play by a snap. Offensive players line up facing defensive players at the line of scrimmage (the position on the field where the play begins). One offensive player, the center, then passes (or "snaps") the ball between his legs to a teammate, usually the quarterback.

Players can then advance the ball in two ways: By running with the ball, also known as rushing. One ball-carrier can hand the ball to another; this is known as a handoff. OR; By throwing the ball to a teammate, known as a forward pass or as passing the football. The forward pass is a key factor distinguishing American and Canadian football from other football sports. The offense can throw the ball forward only once on a play and only from behind the line of scrimmage. The ball can be thrown, pitched, or tossed sideways or backwards at any time. This last type of pass is known as a lateral and is less common.


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A standard football game consists of four 15-minute (typically 12 minutes in high-school football) quarters, with a half-time intermission after the second quarter. The clock stops after certain plays; therefore, a game can last considerably longer (often more than three hours in real time). If an NFL game is tied after four quarters, the teams play an additional period lasting up to 15 minutes. In an NFL overtime game, the first team that scores wins, even if the other team does not get a possession; this is referred to as sudden death. In a regular-season NFL game, if neither team scores in overtime, the game is a tie. In an NFL playoff game, additional overtime periods are played, as needed, to determine a winner. College overtime rules are more complicated.

    Scoring in Football
  • Touchdown (TD): A TD is scored when a player catches a pass in the opponents end zone or runs with the football into the end zone. A TD is worth 6 points.
  • Field Goal: A team may kick the football through the goal posts for 3 points.
  • Safety: When the defense tackles an offensive player with the football in the offensive teams end zone. A safety is worth 2 points.
  • Extra Point or Two-Point Conversion: Upon scoring a touchdown the scoring team can either attempt to kick the ball through the goal posts for 1 extra point or can run/pass the football into the end zone for 2 extra points.





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Also SEE Football at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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