The Basics of Football

Football is a team sport in which players compete against each other to pass, run, and catch the ball. The game is played on a field with two teams of eleven players and is contested over four 15-minute quarters. The object of the game is to score points by running or passing the ball over an opponent’s goal line into their end zone. A team may also earn extra points by kicking the ball through a goal post. The game is regulated by rules designed to ensure safety and fair play, with a maximum of 11 players per side and a minimum of seven. Players wear protective gear and a round ball made of leather or synthetic materials.

The earliest references to football come from England in the 14th century, when Lord Mayor of London Nicholas de Farndone banned the game on the grounds that it created “great noises in the streets and hustling of players over small foot balls”. The modern game was developed during the 1870s, with clubs in working class areas of London seeking professional players who could afford to play the game in addition to their jobs. This prompted the development of the laws of the game agreed by members of the Football Association (FA) in 1867. These stipulated that the ball must be kicked, not thrown, that the game must take place on a field at least 100 yards long and wide and that all players must wear shin pads. The game was further regulated to prevent the use of unfair tactics such as throwing the ball or running with it.

Each team consists of three groups: the offensive, defensive, and special teams. The offense includes the center, left guard, right guard, and right tackle, who start each play on the line of scrimmage. They “block” opposing players so that the quarterback has time to throw or hand off a play. The running back takes handoffs from the quarterback to run for yards and may also make catch plays. The wide receivers, who are the fastest players on the team, often catch passes from the quarterback or handoffs from the fullback.

The defense tries to stop the offense from moving forward by intercepting passes and causing fumbles. Fumbles occur when a player drops the ball, which allows any other player on the team to recover it. If a team fails to advance the ball at least 10 yards in a series of four downs, the other team gets possession and the game begins again. This process is repeated until the team either wins the ball or loses it. The game is widely popular in the United States and many people attend games at stadiums or watch them at home with friends or in bars. There are also rivalries between towns and cities that support the same team. These are usually friendly, but sometimes get heated. Some fans even cook food outside the stadium to show their support for their favorite club.