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The playing field is 120-yd (110 m) long and 53.3-yd (48.8 m) wide. At each end of the 100-yd main body of the playing field, white lines called goal lines mark off the entrances to the end zones. Each team defends one end zone and must carry or pass the ball into the opponent's 10-yd (9-m) end zone to score. Lines parallel to the end zones cross the field at 5-yd (4.5-m) intervals. Centered on the back line of each end zone are goalposts, consisting of a 10-ft (3-m) vertical pole topped by a horizontal crossbar from which two vertical upright posts extend. The posts are 18 ft 6 in (about 5.6 m) apart. The football is an inflated rubber bladder encased in a leather or rubber cover. It is an extended spheroid in shape. A game of football is divided into four quarters, each consisting of 15 minutes of playing time. Between the first two quarters and the second two quarters is a rest period, usually lasting about 15 minutes. The clocks stop at the end of each quarter, when particular events occur, and when designated by the officials. Two teams of 11 players play football. Each team tries to move the ball down the field to score in the end zone defended by its opponent. The team in possession of the ball is called the offense, and the team defending is called the defense. Players involved in kicking situations are known as the special teams. The 11 players of the offensive team are divided into 7 linemen, who play on the line of scrimmage (an imaginary line designating the position of the ball) and a backfield of 4 players, called backs. The linemen are the center, the left and right guards, the left and right tackles, the tight end, and the split end. The back who directs the play of the offensive team is known as the quarterback. Teams may also use fullbacks and halfbacks. Wide receivers often replace ends or backs, lining up wide of the rest of the formation. The defensive team consists of a row of linemen, a row of linebackers, and a collection of defensive backs, known as the secondary. The defensive line is usually made up of three or four linemen. Three or four linebackers usually line up behind the defensive line. The secondary is usually composed of two corner backs and two safeties. A coin toss determines which team chooses to kick off or receive the ball to start the game. After the kickoff, any player on the receiving team may recover the ball and run with it. Play stops when the ball carrier is tackled or runs out of bounds. Play from scrimmage begins when the center crouches over the ball and, on a spoken signal, snaps it generally to the quarterback by handing it between his legs. The quarterback can pass the ball, hand it to a teammate, or run with it. Players on the offensive team may block the defenders, but they are constrained by rules regarding the use of their hands or arms. The forward pass is a play in which the ball is thrown forward to an eligible player. The quarterback nearly always throws the ball, and those who may catch it include backs, ends, and receivers. A forward pass may only be thrown from behind the line of scrimmage. Lateral or backward passes may be made anywhere on the field anytime the ball is in play. The defense tries to prevent the offense from advancing the ball. The offense must advance the ball at least 10 yards in four tries, called downs. If it fails to move 10 yards in four downs, the offense must surrender the ball to its opponent. A team will often punt on fourth down if it hasn't gained at least 10 yards in its previous three tries. In punting, the kicker drops the ball and kicks it before it hits the ground, sending it farther away from the team's own end zone. A team scores a touchdown, worth 6 points, when one of its players carries the ball into or catches a pass within the opposing team's end zone. After scoring a touchdown, the team tries for an extra-point conversion, kicking the ball for 1 point, or running or passing it into the end zone for 2 points. Teams may also score by kicking a field goal, which counts for 3 points. A field goal is scored by means of a placekick, in which one player holds the ball upright on the ground for a teammate to kick. The ball must be kicked over the crossbar and between the uprights of the goalpost. After each field goal and extra-point conversion, the scoring team kicks off to its opponent. A defensive team earns 2 points for a safety when it causes the team on offense to end a play in possession of the ball behind its own goal line. American football is generally regarded as having begun in 1869, when teams from Rutgers and Princeton universities met for the first intercollegiate football game. Collegiate football dominated the game for about its first 100 years in the United States, becoming one of the countries most popular sports spectacles. College teams generally play about 11 games during the fall, and the best teams are invited to so-called bowl games. The tradition was begun in 1902 at Pasadena, California, when Stanford University invited the University of Michigan to come to California for a New Year's Day contest, an event that became the celebrated Rose Bowl game. The first professional football game in the United States took place in 1895. The first league of professional football teams was the American Professional Football Association, formed in 1920. In 1922 the National Football League (NFL) was founded. The offensive techniques and formations prevalent in contemporary football developed from the ideas of early- and mid-20th-century coaches such as Amos Alonzo Stagg, Pop Warner, Knute Rockne, and Paul Brown. These men created innovative offensive formations. They moved players and put others in motion, changing the way offense was played. The passing game developed, and the game opened up. Modern football also emphasizes defense, and in some ways defense is more complicated than offense, because the defense has fewer restrictions on its manner of lining up. The NFL season runs from late summer, through autumn, and into January. Professional teams play 16 games in the regular season and then playoff games, if they qualify. NFL franchises generate huge revenues for host cities, in addition to promoting civic pride and national exposure. The Super Bowl is the final contest of the NFL's season and determines the league's annual champion. It is probably the most important single-day sporting event in the United States.
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The Game of American Football
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The Game Of American Football

Words: 1111    Pages: 4    Paragraphs: 10    Sentences: 68    Read Time: 04:02
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              The playing field is 120-yd (110 m) long and 53. 3-yd (48. 8 m) wide. At each end of the 100-yd main body of the playing field, white lines called goal lines mark off the entrances to the end zones. Each team defends one end zone and must carry or pass the ball into the opponent's 10-yd (9-m) end zone to score. Lines parallel to the end zones cross the field at 5-yd (4. 5-m) intervals. Centered on the back line of each end zone are goalposts, consisting of a 10-ft (3-m) vertical pole topped by a horizontal crossbar from which two vertical upright posts extend. The posts are 18 ft 6 in (about 5. 6 m) apart. The football is an inflated rubber bladder encased in a leather or rubber cover. It is an extended spheroid in shape.
             
              A game of football is divided into four quarters, each consisting of 15 minutes of playing time. Between the first two quarters and the second two quarters is a rest period, usually lasting about 15 minutes. The clocks stop at the end of each quarter, when particular events occur, and when designated by the officials.
             
              Two teams of 11 players play football. Each team tries to move the ball down the field to score in the end zone defended by its opponent. The team in possession of the ball is called the offense, and the team defending is called the defense. Players involved in kicking situations are known as the special teams. The 11 players of the offensive team are divided into 7 linemen, who play on the line of scrimmage (an imaginary line designating the position of the ball) and a backfield of 4 players, called backs. The linemen are the center, the left and right guards, the left and right tackles, the tight end, and the split end. The back who directs the play of the offensive team is known as the quarterback. Teams may also use fullbacks and halfbacks. Wide receivers often replace ends or backs, lining up wide of the rest of the formation. The defensive team consists of a row of linemen, a row of linebackers, and a collection of defensive backs, known as the secondary. The defensive line is usually made up of three or four linemen. Three or four linebackers usually line up behind the defensive line. The secondary is usually composed of two corner backs and two safeties.
             
              A coin toss determines which team chooses to kick off or receive the ball to start the game. After the kickoff, any player on the receiving team may recover the ball and run with it. Play stops when the ball carrier is tackled or runs out of bounds. Play from scrimmage begins when the center crouches over the ball and, on a spoken signal, snaps it generally to the quarterback by handing it between his legs. The quarterback can pass the ball, hand it to a teammate, or run with it. Players on the offensive team may block the defenders, but they are constrained by rules regarding the use of their hands or arms.
             
              The forward pass is a play in which the ball is thrown forward to an eligible player. The quarterback nearly always throws the ball, and those who may catch it include backs, ends, and receivers. A forward pass may only be thrown from behind the line of scrimmage. Lateral or backward passes may be made anywhere on the field anytime the ball is in play.
             
              The defense tries to prevent the offense from advancing the ball. The offense must advance the ball at least 10 yards in four tries, called downs. If it fails to move 10 yards in four downs, the offense must surrender the ball to its opponent. A team will often punt on fourth down if it hasn't gained at least 10 yards in its previous three tries. In punting, the kicker drops the ball and kicks it before it hits the ground, sending it farther away from the team's own end zone.
             
              A team scores a touchdown, worth 6 points, when one of its players carries the ball into or catches a pass within the opposing team's end zone. After scoring a touchdown, the team tries for an extra-point conversion, kicking the ball for 1 point, or running or passing it into the end zone for 2 points. Teams may also score by kicking a field goal, which counts for 3 points. A field goal is scored by means of a placekick, in which one player holds the ball upright on the ground for a teammate to kick. The ball must be kicked over the crossbar and between the uprights of the goalpost. After each field goal and extra-point conversion, the scoring team kicks off to its opponent. A defensive team earns 2 points for a safety when it causes the team on offense to end a play in possession of the ball behind its own goal line.
             
              American football is generally regarded as having begun in 1869, when teams from Rutgers and Princeton universities met for the first intercollegiate football game. Collegiate football dominated the game for about its first 100 years in the United States, becoming one of the countries most popular sports spectacles. College teams generally play about 11 games during the fall, and the best teams are invited to so-called bowl games. The tradition was begun in 1902 at Pasadena, California, when Stanford University invited the University of Michigan to come to California for a New Year's Day contest, an event that became the celebrated Rose Bowl game. The first professional football game in the United States took place in 1895. The first league of professional football teams was the American Professional Football Association, formed in 1920. In 1922 the National Football League (NFL) was founded.
             
              The offensive techniques and formations prevalent in contemporary football developed from the ideas of early- and mid-20th-century coaches such as Amos Alonzo Stagg, Pop Warner, Knute Rockne, and Paul Brown. These men created innovative offensive formations. They moved players and put others in motion, changing the way offense was played. The passing game developed, and the game opened up. Modern football also emphasizes defense, and in some ways defense is more complicated than offense, because the defense has fewer restrictions on its manner of lining up.
             
              The NFL season runs from late summer, through autumn, and into January. Professional teams play 16 games in the regular season and then playoff games, if they qualify. NFL franchises generate huge revenues for host cities, in addition to promoting civic pride and national exposure. The Super Bowl is the final contest of the NFL's season and determines the league's annual champion. It is probably the most important single-day sporting event in the United States.
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