The Basics of Football


Football is a team sport played by two teams of 11 players each on a rectangular field with goal lines and goal posts at either end. The object is to gain possession of the ball and advance it by running or passing plays across the opponent’s goal line or by kicking it through the air between the goal posts.

The game is played over four quarters with each team taking turns in possession of the ball. Games last for about 45 minutes, with two breaks during the first and second quarters, and a 15-minute break between the third and fourth.

Rules & Scoring

The most basic rule is that each team has four opportunities to cover 10 yards in their opponents’ endzone. This is done by running or passing the ball, with a bonus if the team scores a touchdown. If the offense does not cover 10 yards in the stipulated four downs, they lose possession and their team brings their next down on defense.

Blocking & Tackling

The offensive team is responsible for moving the ball down the field by bringing defenders down to the ground, pushing, or knocking them out of the way. The defense tries to prevent this by tackling the offensive player.

Penalties & Fouls

A foul is when a player commits an illegal move, like holding or false start. Other penalties include unnecessarily rough contact, and pass interference.