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Brief introduction of American Football (Part 1)

American Football is one of the biggest and most famous sport in Northern America. Whilst the game is enjoyed and played worldwide, the professional leagues in North America (such as the NFL) easily attract the best footballers in the world making it the most competitive league. The pinnacle of the sport comes in the form of the Super Bowl completed every year for millions of people around the world to enjoy.

Object of the Game

The object of American football is to score the most points possible or at least more than your opponents in the allotted time. To do this players must lead the ball down the pitch in phases of play before eventually moving the ball into the ‘end zone’ for a touchdown. This can be achieved by either transfering the ball to a teammate or running with the ball till the end zone.

Each team gets 4 chances (downs) to run with the ball within 10 yards forward. Once they get over the 10 yards their downs reset and they begin again for another 10 yards. After 4 downs have passed and they haven’t success to make it over the 10 yards required, the ball will be turned over to the other team.

Players & Equipment

Whilst there are only 11 players from each team on the field in each match, an American football team actually consists of 45 players. The teams are commonly divided into three groups of attacking (generally stronger, smaller, faster type of players, including a quarterback who is responsible for running the attacking plays and throwing the ball to their teammates), defence (larger, more powerful players responsible for stopping players from running) and special team players (responsible for the kicking and punting side of the game with a combination of larger and faster players).

An American football field is generally about 100 yards long and 160 yards wide. Lines are drawn on the field at 10 yard interval to show how far each team has to move before reaching the end zone. The end zones are designed at each end of the pitch and are approximately 20 yards in length. Posts are also set up at each end of which the kicker moves the ball over.