The Basics of Football


Football is a game played on a field with clearly marked yardage lines. The goal of the game is to move the ball into the opponent’s end zone. For each successful move, the offense earns one point. If the offense fails to advance the ball 10 yards or more, the play is called a turnover.

When a player has the ball, he or she may run or pass the ball. A tackle is when any part of a player’s body touches the ground. Once the ball is in the end zone, the team scores a touchdown. In addition to a score, the ball may be kicked for an extra point.

Each football team is made up of 11 players. There is usually one quarterback on the team. He or she leads the team by calling out plays, passing the ball and running with it. Two guards help keep the defense at bay. One or two running backs are also allowed.

Teams play four downs, with each down lasting one minute. At the fourth down, if the offensive team is unsuccessful in advancing the ball, it is automatically turned over to the defending team. On the fourth down, an offensive team can either kick a field goal or try to make up the yards it has lost.

The clock stops when a ball is out of bounds. After the first team is scored on, the clock starts again. To prevent the other team from scoring, a tackle is required to stop the ball carrier.

A goal kick is an attempt to kick the ball through an upright post. Kicks are generally successful if the ball reaches the goal posts. As in any other game, each play is decided by the positions of the players on the pitch. Usually, a team will be told if they are to kick a field goal or attempt a goal kick at the start of the game.

An offensive team has four chances to gain at least 10 yards, after which the downs reset. If the offense fails to reach the 10 yards in four downs, it is automatically turned over to the defense.

After the four downs, the team with the ball retains possession of the ball and starts the next quarter. After the second half, the teams change ends of the field. It is possible for the offensive team to make up its lost yards by kicking a field goal, running into the end zone or throwing the ball.

In the case of an extra point, the offensive team runs into the end zone or kicks the ball through the uprights. This is often more difficult than kicking an extra point.

The game has gained popularity throughout the world. Professional leagues have been formed in countries such as the United States, France and the Netherlands. Since the early 20th century, more than 200 nations have joined FIFA. All agents must be licensed by the national association and have to pass written examinations.