Football – The Basics
To gather that everyone knows and understands the game of football would be a foolish thing to do since it is such a complicated game. And while we're not going to dive in depth into the game in this article, we are going to go over some of the basics of the game itself so that you have a pretty decent idea of how it's played.
The game of football is played on a field marked off with hash marks. Each hash across the field represents one yard from the hash before it. There are 98 of these hash marks plus two goal line marks for a total of 100 yards. Just past the goal lines are goal posts. These actually serve a function which we'll get to shortly.
The object of the game is for one team to move the football from one end of the field all the way down to the other and cross the opposing goal line. If they manage to do this they score six points. After they do this they then get a chance to score extra points either by kicking the ball between the goal post uprights (that's what they are there for) or by passing the ball or running the ball over the goal line again. If they kick the ball over they get one point. If they run the ball in or pass the ball in they get two points. There is also the option of trying for a field goal if they think they can not get the ball over the goal line. A field goal will give the team three points.
There are certain restrictions placed on the offensive team (the one trying to score) when trying to get their points. They have to be able to move the ball at least 10 yards for every four times that they attempt to move the ball, called a down. If they do not get the 10 yards within the four downs that they turn the ball over to the other team. As long as they keep getting the 10 yard minimum they hold onto the ball until they either score or fail to get their 10 yards.
The team on the other end of the ball, called the defense, has to try to keep the team with the ball from scoring. They have many options open to them in order to do this. They can tackle a runner who is carrying the ball, a pass receiver who has a a pass or try to physically take the ball away form the other team, either by causing a fumble or intercepting a pass.
If no team has a higher score by the end of four quarters, each of which are 15 minutes long, then they have one quarter of overtime and play until one team scores. If none team scores then the game ends in a tie. Yes, football is one of those games where you can have ties.
These are obviously just very basic rules and the game itself is a lot more complicated than what you see here. In future articles we'll dive more deeply into the game itself, including football strategy.