Basic American Football Rules

American Football Rules

American football is a beloved sport in North America and is gaining popularity around the world. May children learn to play the game at a young age, often watching professional games on television with a parent, grandparent or older sibling coaxing them to cheer for their favorite team. The sport might seem perplexing for those who were not raised in this culture, but learning some basic rules will alleviate some confusion and will also help you make decisions for Online Cricket Betting ID on American Football Rules at sites like bet at home.

Game Play

American Football, rules known simply as Football in the United States, is played on a field covered in natural or artificial grass. A standard football field measures 100 yards in length, with lines drawn on the field for every 10 yard increment and hash marks on the sides at every yard. The object of the game is to score more point than the opposing team. The game consists of four quarters, each lasting 15 minutes. Halftime, a 15-minute break, occurs after the second quarter.

Each team consists of 45 players divided into three groups: offense, defense and special teams. The offensive players are those in possession of the football who are attempting to score points. The defensive players are the players that are attempting to stop the offense of the opposing team from scoring, thus defending the goal. Special teams players are used by both teams during kicking and punting.

Before the game begins, a coin toss determines which team will receive the ball first. The game then begins with a kickoff. The team not receiving the kicks the ball downfield to the receiving team. A receiver can run the ball up field to attempt to gain yardage. If the ball is not fielded by a receiver, the play begins at the spot where the ball stopped. Eleven players from each team line up at the line of scrimmage, the spot where the play begins. The offense has 4 attempts, called downs, to get the ball at least 10 yards closer to their end zone. Once they covert the ball, it resets to first down again. On the fourth down, the team can elect to punt the ball to the opposing team, attempt a field goal or try to get enough yards for a first down. If they choose the latter and do not make it, the ball turns over to the opposing team wherever it sits at the end of the fourth down.


A touchdown occurs when a player catches a pass in their end zone or when a player runs with the ball and crosses over the end zone. A touchdown is worth 6 points. After a touchdown is scored, the scoring team has an option of kicking an extra point or trying for a two point conversation by running or passing the ball into the end zone. A field goal will usually be attempted on a 4th down if the offense is close to the goal. The kicker attempts to kick the ball though the uprights. If achieved, the kick is worth three points. A safety occurs when the defense sacks the offensive quarterback in the end zone. The defensive team scores two points when this happens.


There are many infractions that can draw a penalty. When a referee sees a player breaking a rule, he or she will throw a yellow penalty flag. Some common penalties include:

Offsides refers to a defensive player jumping before the ball is snapped. This penalty may also be called neutral zone infraction. It is a 5 yard penalty. Typically, the referees will allow the play to continue after the flag is thrown. If the offense has a good play, they can elect to decline the penalty. False start refers to an interior lineman on the offensive team moves prior to the ball being snapped. It is a five yard penalty. Delay of game refers to the ball not beginning snapped before the time clock ran out. It is a five yard penalty. Holding is called when a player illegally holds another player. It can be an offensive or defensive penalty. It is a five yard penalty and automatic first down. Pass interference refers to a defensive player making contact with an intended receiver before the ball arrives, restricting his ability to have a chance to catch the ball. This penalty can be costly as the ball is spotted at the site of the foul and is an automatic first down.

Everything written in this article on American Football Rules represents only our personal opinions.


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