How to Play Football

Football is a goal-defending sport that has its roots in the game of rugby. The object of the game is to score more points than the opposing team within a certain amount of time. Points are scored by advancing the ball into the opponents end zone. Additional details about how to play football have been outlined below.

American Football Positions & Setup

Professional American football is played with two teams of 11 players each. The football field is 100 yards in length with an additional 10 yards on each end known as the end zones. There are two goalposts on the edges of the field as well. Each player plays a specific position on either offense or defense. In an informal game, it is not necessary to have a specific field length or number of players. For pickup games, there can be as few as three or four players total.

The team that holds the ball is known as the offense. There are three types of offensive players: running backs, linemen and receivers. There is also the quarterback, which is an important and pivotal position. Linemen assemble themselves on the line of scrimmage and attempt to protect the quarterback. The quarterback can then hand the ball off to a running back or pass it to a receiver. More specific descriptions of American football positions are as follows:

There are three types of defensive players: linemen, backs and safeties. The defensive linemen line up directly across from the offensive linemen and attempt to tackle a runner or the quarterback. The defensive backs line up behind the linemen and protect against passes. Some defensive backs, called cornerbacks, stay right with the wide receivers in an attempt to block or intercept passes. The safeties line up farther behind the other backs and act in different versatile ways.

There are also special teams that are in charge of kicking the ball during certain situations.

Football Game Play

How to Play Football

How to Play Football

First, there is a coin toss. The team that wins the toss elects to either kick or receive. Then, play begins with a kickoff. Special teams go on the field and the kicker kicks the ball to the receiving team. The player who catches the ball can run with it and attempt to gain as many yards as possible. If the ball was kicked past the opposing end zone, it is considered a “touchback” and the team will begin their drive on their own 20-yard line.

The ball is placed where the kick receiver was tackled. This is known as the line of scrimmage. From there, the offensive team has four chances, or “downs,” to either score a touchdown or get another first down. A first down is achieved by gaining ten or more yards at any time.

Each down is begun when the center snaps the ball to the quarterback. The quarterback then hands off the ball to a running back or passes the ball to a receiver. The defense can tackle anyone who has the ball, rendering that player “down,” which ends the play. The next down begins wherever the player went down on the previous play. If a player ever reaches the opposing end zone with the ball, it is a touchdown.

If a team has not scored or achieved a first down within their four downs, they have three options. They can either try to get a first down with a normal play, kick a field goal or punt the ball. If the team is close enough to the opposing goal post, the kicker can come on the field and attempt to kick the ball between the uprights of the goal posts. If the team has no chance of making a field goal, they can simply kick the ball to the other team, who will catch the ball and begin their own offensive possession. If the fourth-down offense tries for a first down but fails, the opposing offense begins their possession at the same field position.

The offensive team can also “turnover” the ball. This is where an offensive player fumbles the ball or a pass is intercepted. Then, the defense gains control of the ball.

Football Tactics & Scoring

Understanding the scoring process will help you better develop useful football tactics.

Football has many more facets to it including different football tactics, strategies and penalties. Knowing the positions and basic game play of football can help you on your way to playing this exciting sport.

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