The Basics of Football


Football is a team sport in which players try to move the ball into the other team’s end zone. The goal is to score a touchdown, which is worth six points. Teams may also attempt to kick the ball through the goal posts to get an extra point. It is a relatively free-flowing game, which makes it fun to watch.

Plays begin by the offensive team trying to gain yards by running the ball forward toward the opponent’s end zone. Once the offensive team reaches the opposing team’s goal line, they then take a shot at the goal, either by kicking or catching the ball. If the ball hits the ground, it is called an incomplete pass. Usually, the quarterback or offensive centre attempts to run with the ball.

The defense then tries to halt the other team’s advance. They may tackle the offensive player or cover potential receivers. Sometimes the defense will rush the quarterback or a linebacker.

If the opposing team is able to stop the offense from advancing, they can force the other team to fumble. When the ball is lost, the fumble is recovered by the defending team. In many high-level games, there is a fourth official who is responsible for officiating the play.

In addition to the defense, an offensive unit also takes on the last position after a tackle, called the “last man.” Often, the offensive team will spend most of the game in this position. However, if the team is unable to advance the ball, they have the option of taking a field goal.

A team can also elect to go for two extra points by kicking the ball through the goal post. Typically, a team will line up at the opponent’s 2-yard line, where they will have four chances to gain 10 yards. Each time the team succeeds, they receive a bonus to add more points.

At the start of the game, a referee is in charge of the officiating. He is assisted by two assistant referees. During the game, each team has a playbook, dozens to hundreds of plays. This allows for a number of different offensive and defensive formations. Players can change positions at any time.

Traditionally, the offensive team would carry the ball across the opposing team’s goal line. However, in the 20th century, football became notoriously dangerous. Many players died from injuries and accidents. As a result, colleges responded by making changes to the rules to make the game more safe.

Today, teams usually have around 45 to 50 players. These players can be divided into five basic groups: the offensive line, the running backs, the quarterbacks, the defensive line and the offensive backs. Depending on the size of the team, each group can include one to four quarterbacks, three or more running backs, a wide receiver and a tight end. Some teams also have specialized players known as the “special teams,” which handle kicking and punting.

There are many different types of penalties, such as a roughing the kicker penalty, which moves the ball to the opposite end zone. Aside from moving the ball out of the end zone, most penalties move the football towards the defense’s end zone.