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Football (American)

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Football player running with ball
Source: University of Maryland

American Football is one of the world's most popular competitive sports. It is mostly popular in the United States where football is the number one spectator sport. Each year the NFL championship, the Super Bowl, is one of the most watched events on American TV. College football is also very popular with numerous 100,000 plus stadiums selling out every week.

Football is often called a high-impact sport of violence. The football is advanced down the field by runners or by passing until the opposing team tackles or brings the player with the ball to the ground. Points in football are scored by advancing the football beyond the goal line (called a touch down) or kicking the ball through a field goal. The rules of the sport are quite complex and differ depending on the levels of play.

Football is a true team sport. Most players specialize in a particular position and skill. With eleven players on defense and offense, substitutions, as well as special teams, most teams will play at least 30 or 40 players on a regular basis. This makes teamwork and overall team talent more important than the abilities of any single player.

History of American Football

Football is an American sport that was formed in the late 1800's at college campuses. The sport has it's roots in the English game of Rugby. The first college game was played between Rutgers and Princeton.

This early form of football was extremely violent with many players actually dying every year. New rules were established over time and, although football is still a physical sport with many injuries, it is much safer today.

The NFL was formed in 1921 and became the major professional league by the 50's. It has continued to grow in popularity becoming the most watched professional league of any sport in the United States.

Scoring in Football

Football scoring can seem complex at first, but really there are only five ways to score points in football:

Touchdown (TD): A TD is scored when a player catches a pass in the opponent's end zone or runs with the football into the end zone. A TD is worth 6 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 two extra 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 team's end zone. A safety is worth 2 points.

More Football Links:

Football Rules
Football Scoring
Timing and the Clock
The Football Down
The Field
Referee Signals
Football Officials
Violations that Occur Pre-Snap
Violations During Play
Rules for Player Safety
Player Positions
Running Back
Offensive Line
Defensive Line
The Secondary
Football Strategy
Offense Basics
Offensive Formations
Passing Routes
Defense Basics
Defensive Formations
Special Teams

How to...
Catching a Football
Throwing a Football
How to Punt a Football
How to Kick a Field Goal

Peyton Manning
Tom Brady
Jerry Rice
Adrian Peterson
Drew Brees
Brian Urlacher

Football Glossary
National Football League NFL
List of NFL Teams
College Football

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