Football is a team sport in which players compete to propel a ball toward their opponent’s goal. They do so by throwing, kicking, or running with the ball. Physical contact between players is permitted, but only within certain limits. The game is controlled by an official referee, and play stops when the ball goes out of bounds, a player is tackled, or when a whistle is blown. A successful play results in the team scoring points, and the team with the most points at the end of the match is the winner.
A standard adult football match consists of two periods of 45 minutes each, called halves. During each half, the teams switch roles. The attacking team, also known as the offensive team, then takes the field with the intention of scoring. The opposing team, which is known as the defensive team, attempts to stop the offensive attack and force the team with the ball to give up possession.
In modern football, the rules of the game are codified by an international governing body, the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). There are four ways to score in football: touchdowns, field goals, extra points, and safety scores. Each type of score has a different point value and is scored in a slightly different way.
The quarterback (“QB”) passes or hands off the ball. The center snaps the ball to the QB, and the wide receivers and tight ends take the ball away from defenders or catch passes thrown by the quarterback. The QB is the leader of the offense, and his or her decisions determine the direction of the play.
On each play, the team is given a set number of yards to travel in order to reach its goal. The yard markers are placed at a spot on the field that corresponds to the distance required, and the official, or referee, calls out the number when the forward progress of the player with the ball is stopped. Often, the first down marker will be placed on the line of scrimmage.
After a team gains ten yards on its first down, it must gain another ten on the next play in order to make it to the end zone and receive six points (a touchdown). At the conclusion of a touchdown or a successful field goal, the kicking team may attempt to kick the ball through the upright posts for one point (an extra point), or run or pass the ball into the end zone for two points (a two-point conversion).
Many countries operate professional leagues that feature highly-paid star players. In lower divisions, players are often part-timers who work a second job and play football as a hobby or amateur sport. The most important aspect of football is practice, as it requires a unique skill set that few other sports can teach. A well-coordinated practice session will help players develop the coordination and agility needed to excel at their chosen position.