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American football is a great team game which is played for 1 hour with an oval ball (like a rugby ball). American football is played on a field which is marked out with intervals and called a gridiron (see image below). There are eleven players in each team on the gridiron at any one time with the eleven being changed at regular intervals to support strategic offensive / defensive play. The aim of American Football is for the teams to move the ball towards the oppositions end zone by running with the ball or throwing the ball to a teammate and once there, score a touchdown.
In American football, game time last approximately one hour with the game composed of the following time splits:
Points can also be scored by completing a touchdown, by kicking the ball through the uprights after a touchdown, by kicking a field goal, or awarded for safety to the defensive team when a team member of the offensive team is tackled with the ball in his own end zone. Two points are awarded for a safety in American Football.
A touchdown can be defined as the act of touching the ball to the ground behind and opponents' goal. The player completing the touchdown must be in lawful possession of the ball (within American Football rules) which above, behind or on the opponent's goal line when the ball is declared dead (dead meaning no longer in play). When completed, a touchdown generates six points for the offense team.
A PAT (Point After Touchdown) is a conversion and is scored by kicking the ball through the uprights of the goal by a member of the offence team after successfully securing a touchdown. When successfully a PAT generates one points for the offence team.
In American football, a field goal is scored by the team in possession of the ball kicking or drop kicking the ball through the uprights of the opposing team's goal. A filed goal can be scored from anywhere on the filed at any time. When achieved, a successful field goal generates three points.
Like most professional team sport games, American Football is strategic though when compared to most team games, it is fair to say there is more strategy in American Football and a lot more depth to gameplay. Unlike most team sports where the majority of player who start the game, remain on the field/pitch until the end, American football allows 11 team member on the filed at any one time but has a team of 47 players to choose from and can change these as required to support strategic offence / defence play and specific nuances of play, approach and execution therein. Positioning team players is therefore one of the biggest challenges of American Football Coaches, the question often asked, in American Football, how do I position my players to win.
If you are new to American Football, there are three main league acronyms that you will encounter, NFL, CFL and NCAA, these are:
In addition to the three main American Football Leagues, you may also encounter the following (flags represent country where the league is played).
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