The Basics of Football


In the game of Football, the down is a period of time during which a team’s forward progress is halted. A down ends when the ball goes down to the ground and is deemed out-of-bounds. The defensive team takes over the ball at the point where the fourth-down play ended. A change of possession (also known as a turnover) occurs when the offensive team fails to gain a first down in four downs. The offense then scores a touchdown, makes a field goal, or kicks the ball to the other team in a special play.

Penalties are punishments for rule violations. Generally, these penalties move the football towards the defense’s endzone, but some move it away from it. Other defensive penalties, for example, give the offensive team an automatic first down. A yellow flag is usually thrown near a foul, and the offense gets the first down as usual. Injuries can result in extra time being added to the game. Nevertheless, injuries or penalties to players on the field will delay the game.

In the 1870s, leading football clubs began charging spectators to watch games. Moreover, these clubs were able to pay high wages to attract skilled players. These players, mostly from Scotland, were interested in the professional game, which would pay them for their “broken time” and risk of injury. However, the FA maintained an amateur policy for many years, as this maintained the power of the upper class in the game. In fact, in the nineteenth century, the sport of football had a following in the United States, second only to baseball.