Understanding American Football: The Basics Explained

Eddie

Introducing American Football! 

American football is one of the most bet on sports in the US, just look at Fanduel’s NFL odds, and you will see that, and possibly place a bet while you’re at it. However, even though it is the most popular sport in the US for betting, you should always know what you are betting on, and that is why you need to at least know the basics before you place that first bet.

This is a sport played by two teams of 11-players on a rectangular 120-yard field with goal lines at each end. The team with the ball (offense) attempts to advance the ball down the field, running with or passing it, as the opposition aims to halt their advance and tries to take control of the ball. The offensive team must advance at least ten yards in four downs/ plays, or they turn over the football to the opposition. 

One team must outscore the other, which is done by advancing down the field and scoring as many points as possible. This can be done as a touchdown, an extra point conversion or a two point conversion, or a field goal, or safety. 

They have 60 minutes, divided into two halves of 30 minutes and four quarters of 15 minutes. The average length of a game is 3 hours overall. 

The field. 

The field on which the players play is 100 yards long with a 10 yard end zone for each team, it has stripes running the width at 5 yard intervals as well as hash marks, which mark each single yard down the field. The field is also 160-feet wide. 

The spot in which the end zone meets the playing field is known as the goal line, which is also the same as saying the 0-yard mark. 

The players. 

Each team has 11 men on the field at each time. If there are more, then there will be a penalty. Unlimited substitution is allowed, however, but players may only enter when the ball is dead and the play stopped. 

Each football team will have offensive players, defensive players, and specialized players. If a team has possession of the ball, then they are considered to be the offensive team and their offensive players will attempt to run or pass the ball forward towards the opponent’s end zone. The other team, who are the defense, must then use their defensive players to attempt to slow the opposing offenders down and stop them from advancing the ball. 

If a kicking player is anticipated, then the teams will use special team units. 

Scoring a touchdown. 

The biggest goal for the offensive team is to score a touchdown. In order to do this, a player must carry the ball across the oppositions’ goal line, or catch a pass in the end zone. Once the ball crosses this plane while in the possession of a player, it is considered a touchdown. This type of goal is worth six points. The team who scores will be given a bonus of trying to add one or two more points. These are known as extra-point conversion attempts. 

If they try to go for two extra points, then they will line up at the two-yard line and make one attempt at either running or passing the ball to the end zone. If they make it then they are awarded two points, however if they do not, then no extra points are rewarded. 

A team can also try to go for only one extra point, this is done by kicking the ball through the goal posts from the 15-yard line. 

How the game begins. 

The game is started when one of the teams kicks off the football to the other. The captains of each team and the referee will meet at the center of the field for a coin toss, which will determine which side is the kicking team.

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