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Football Rules

Football Rules

Football is among the most popular sports in America.  It’s a rough, contact sport where a player’s strength, size, and agility all are factors in success.  Teamwork is also important, as every player must perfectly execute his or her responsibilities on every play.
The goal of football is to score more points than your team’s opponent in the four regular-time periods or quarters.  This is accomplished through a talented and productive offense which can put points on the board in many ways.  A strong defense is also important to prevent the other team from scoring points.
There are several types of scores.  When a team takes the ball over the goal line and into the end zone by running or passing, that’s a touchdown, and it is worth six points.  The scoring team can choose to convert that to seven points with an ensuing kick through the uprights or to eight points with a successful two-point conversion attempt.  This is when the ball is placed at the two- or three-yard line and the offense takes the ball across the goal line again.
Aside from a touchdown and conversion, a team can also score three points by kicking the ball off the ground and through the goalposts from anywhere on the field at any time it possesses the ball.  This is called a field goal.  Finally, a team’s defense can score a safety (two points) if it can tackle an opposing player who possesses the ball in his or her own end zone.
A regulation football field is 100 yards flanked by two ten-yard end zones making the total playing length 120 yards.  The field is 160 feet wide.
The offense can run, pass, or kick the ball down the field.  A gain of 10 yards in four downs is needed for the offensive team to earn a first down.  A down is so named because before every offensive play, the official places the ball “down” on an invisible line called the line of scrimmage.
If a player (usually the quarterback) attempts to pass the ball to a teammate but gets tackled before doing so, that is called a sack and results in a loss of yardage.  Sometime a defender will catch the pass intended for an offensive player.  This is called an interception.
Football is played in youth leagues, high schools, colleges, and professional leagues.  Millions of fans follow the pro and college teams.