Football Rules and Basics

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How the Football Season Is Set Up

The American football season is different for high school, college, and pro teams. Teams at every level play during a standard season and are governed by various football leagues, such as the NFL and NCAA [more…]

NFL Playoffs and the Super Bowl

After the regular football season, the NFL schedule moves into the playoffs, which ultimately lead up to the Super Bowl. In regular-season games, teams compete for the best win-loss records, and those [more…]

Common Football Terms to Know

Football fans have their own language when they talk about the game. To keep up, it’s useful to know what terms like down, extra point, safety, and snap mean. [more…]

What Football Playing Field White Lines Mean

White lines on a football field are critical to playing the game. By knowing what yard lines, hash lines, and end lines represent, you’ll have an easier time following the game. [more…]

How Football Game Time Is Measured in Quarters

To keep things in small, easily digestible chunks, every football game is divided into quarters and these quarters are divided into smaller segments whenever the game clock stops [more…]

How Football Teams Can Score Points in Game Play

When a team has possession of the football, it can score points in several ways. Touchdowns, extra points, two-point conversions, field goals, and safeties all can increase a team's score. [more…]

Common Penalties in American Football

Making sense of the penalties in American football can be tough — unless you have a handy list of common penalties to refer to as you watch a football game. Here are some brief explanations of common penalties [more…]

Player Positions in American Football

When two opposing American football teams meet on the gridiron (playing field), the player positions depend on whether the football team is playing offense or defense. Football pits the [more…]

American Football Terms and Definitions

To understand and enjoy American football, get familiar with key terms and what they mean. Until you grasp basic football lingo, listening to announcers call a football game can be like listening to monkey [more…]

American Football Stadiums and Fields

Although the dimensions of a football field are the same, from high school to the NFL, every stadium seems different. That’s because all across America, the atmosphere inside each stadium, or the architectural [more…]

How to Follow the American Football Game Clock

In an American football game, the game clock, which is operated by a timekeeper in the press box, doesn’t run continuously throughout the game’s 15-minute [more…]

Using Instant Replay to Challenge a Call in American Football

Under the instant replay challenge system, a coach who disagrees with a referee’s call can ask the referees to review that call with instant replay. (The NFL resurrected this system in 1999 after trying [more…]

The American Football Player's Uniform

It isn’t the uniform that separates one football player from the others; it’s his talent and heart. But the uniform and its protective pads are a necessary part of playing football, something any player [more…]

The Coin Toss and Kickoff in American Football

Every American football game starts with a coin toss. Selected members of each team (called captains) come to the center of the field, where the referee holds a coin. In the NFL, the coin toss is restricted [more…]

American Football Referee Signals for Offense

Because American football referees can’t always yell loud enough for the offense to hear, the referee uses signals to inform football players and fans of penalties, touchdowns, and other calls made on [more…]

Referee Signals for Defense in American Football

In American football, referees can signal when the defense either makes an illegal play, warranting a penalty, or scores. Only a few signals are specific to the defense in a football game, but the referees [more…]

American Football Game-Play Referee Signals

During an American football game, the referees can’t yell loud enough for a stadium full of people to hear, so the referee uses signals to inform everyone of everything that transpires on the field. Here’s [more…]

The Coaching Staff in American Football

Almost every American football team has more than one coach. Including strength and conditioning coaches, the typical NFL team averages 15 assistant coaches. [more…]

How to Listen to an American Football Game on the Radio

Every NFL team and most major college American football teams have a local radio station that owns the rights to the teams’ broadcasts. And because of the popularity of sports talk radio, many fans want [more…]

Sign Up Your Kids for Youth Football

Depending on where you live in the United States, your child has multiple options for playing youth football. When you sign up your child for youth football, you need a copy of his birth certificate and [more…]

The Rules of High School Football

Some high school principals believe that football is the most important extracurricular activity on campus. Every state in the U.S. has its own high school federation or association that governs high school [more…]

NCAA Football Teams

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the governing body of college athletics, reports that more than 650 member colleges fielded football teams during the 2010 season. These colleges are [more…]

College Football Conferences

American college football teams play most of their games against schools in their own conferences. The best-known Division I FBS college football conferences are the Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC [more…]

The Football College Bowl Championship Series

In 1998, six major college football conferences — ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, and SEC — instituted the Bowl Championship Series, or BCS. The BCS is a playoff system that attempts to determine [more…]

Professional Football Player Designations

The National Football League owners and the NFL Players Association (the union that represents the interests of the players) have agreed upon certain terms when discussing the status of a football player [more…]


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