American Football 101:

Field_2.jpgThe field length is 100 yards and the width is 53 yards. There are 2 goal posts on both sides of the length of the field, and the teams stand on opposite sides of the width of the field. There is an additional 10 yards on each side, called the end zone. Each team has 3 unit different units.

They are Offense, Defense and Special Teams. A coin toss at the beginning of the game gives determination of who will receive the ball to start the game. The game starts with the special teams unit, from both teams, and a kickoff to the other team.

Then 11 people start with the ball, called the offense. They have 4 downs or chances to move the ball 10 yards, by either throwing the ball or running it. If they pass the 10 yards, they earn a first down and they get another 4 plays to move another 10 yards. The offense's goal is to move the ball all the way to the end zone. The advancing of the ball stops when the ball carrier is tackled (when the player's knee touches the ground). One way to advance the ball to the end zone is by running it. It starts with the snap of the ball to the quarter back. Then the quarter back hands the ball to a running back, and they try to advance the ball all the way to the end zone before being tackled by the defense.
Cal University's Offense in Action-Taken from Wikipedia
 Any one of the 11 players on offense can run the ball. The second way to advance the ball is by passing it. The play starts with the snap to the quarter back and they throw the ball to a wide receiver, a tight end, or the running backs. The linemen are not allowed to catch or touch a thrown ball. The quarter back is not allowed to pass the point from which the ball was snapped if they want to throw the ball.

Defense_Tackle.jpgOn the other side are 11 people, trying to stop the offense from getting to the end zone, called defense. The defense's main goal is to regain the possession of the ball from the opposing offense. They set up in specific formations to prevent the offense from making yards by running or passing the ball.

The Defense's job is to stop the offense from advancing the ball the 10 yard and from letting the offense score points. They can force a turnover or to give up the ball. A turnover (where the offense lose the ball to the opposition) can happen on every play and when the offense does not make 10 yards in the 4 plays given. If this happens, the defense have done their job! A fumble is when an offensive player loses the ball before they are tackled.

Navy Defense in Action-Taken from Wikipedia
Special teams consist of 4 units: The kickoff, punt, 1 or 2 point conversion, and the field goal. The kickoff happens at the start of each half and when either team scores. This consists of placing the ball on the 35 yard line and kicking it to the other team and trying to stop them from advancing the ball to the end zone. The punt occurs after the 3rd down, when the offense doesn’t feel it can make another 1st down. They snap the ball to a kicker, and they try to kick the ball to the other team. Winners1 and 2 point conversion happens after a team has scored a touchdown.
Texas A&M Kicker-Taken from Wikipedia
The team can kick the ball into the field goal posts, which counts as 1 point. Or they can chose to use an offensive play and try to take the ball into the end zone from the 2 yard line. The field goal usually happens when the offense is at 3rd down and it can’t make the 1st down, but is close enough to kick the ball in between the field goal posts.

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