How Football Is Played


In American football, the game is played with a gridiron and two teams. Each team has four downs, or chances to move the ball forward, of which two teams are allowed to make use. The downs reset after the last pass is made, so if the offensive team does not gain 10 yards, it turns the football over to the defensive team. A team can score on its first down, or attempt a field goal if they do not reach the goal line.

A team consists of multiple positions, or “positions.” Running backs line up behind the quarterback, usually in the middle of the field. They specialize in running with the ball and may also pass to others. Linebackers line up between the defensive line and the defensive backs and can rush the quarterback if need be. Linebackers can also cover potential receivers. Kicking plays are handled by special teams. There is a punter for punts and a placekicker for field goals and extra points.

The game’s popularity has continued to grow throughout history, and football was included in the Olympic games in 1908 in London. Since that time, it has been played in every Summer Games – although not in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. In the 20th century, FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) has steadily grown as the world’s governing body. In 1961, Guinea became the 100th FIFA member and, by the middle of the twenty-first century, over 200 countries were registered members.

Several other rules are important to protect players against overuse injuries. Better helmets and a rule change can help reduce the risks associated with head injuries and overuse. However, NFL quarterbacks and running backs are among the most injury-prone players. The National Centre for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research tracks football injuries and deaths. The Brain Injury Association of Arizona tracks the number of football injuries in youth and high school players. So, be sure to follow safety guidelines and rules during practices.

In the nineteenth century, football first emerged in Britain. These “folk football” games used local customs and minimum rules. But as industrialization and urbanization reduced the working-class population’s leisure time, they sought new forms of recreation. Many of these workers turned to the new game of football, and key urban institutions began to organize working-class teams. The sport of football gained worldwide recognition during this time. Today, it ranks second only to baseball and soccer as the most popular team sport.

There are various types of penalties in football. For instance, a safety is a point earned by the defense when an offensive player fumbles or is tackled in the end zone, or commits intentional grounding in the end zone. Defending teams can also earn safety by tackling the other team in their own end zone. A safety is worth two points. However, the defensive team can also score a safety when its opponent scores a touchdown.