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The Basics of How to Play Football

Updated on May 6, 2008

Football rules and advice

As a four year football player and avid football follower, I decided to give people a guide into the game of football through rules, and the game in general. The game of Football is one of America's most popular sports. It all started in the late 1800's by Yale player and coach Walter Camp and he basically formed all the rules which make up the National Football League, when it was formed in 1920. Today football is played everywhere from schools, parks, homes, and even local stadiums. To anyone who hasn't played, it's quite simple and here is a basic how to guide on the game of football.

Football is played a 100 yard football field, two 10 yard end zones, and two goal posts. The goal in football is to score more points than the other team at the end of four quarters. Football is divided into four 15 minute quarters, and overtime if teams happen to be tied is decided by sudden death. That means the first team that scores wins the game. Scoring points in football is the main goal of the game. Teams go down the field by either running or passing the ball, they must get ten yards in four downs to continue the drive and the downs reset to first down if the teams gets past the desired to go amount. If teams don't get the first, they have to punt, go for it, or kick the field goal. The field goal is one of the two main scoring techniques in football. If a team kicks a ball from any point of the field through the goal posts, they score three points and if they get the ball across the end zone by running or passing the ball to a player, they score six points. They can call such plays as play action runs or passes, running back counters, dives, or draws, and the quarter back can pass to any available eligible receiver. After a team scores, they have to make a decision and that is either kicking the extra point for one point or going from the three yard line and crossing the goal line by either running or passing for two points. Other ways to score is tackling the ball carrier or team in their own end zone for a safety, which is worth two points as well and those are some of the ways teams can score in the game of football.

The game of football involves many basic rules. Some rules include not going past the line of scrimmage, which is where the ball lies and that is a five yard penalty for false start or offsides, can't tackle a player by the face mask which is a 15 yard personal foul, and another rule is players can't interfere with the receiver or other players by holding them or pushing off them, which will result with either 10 to 15 yard penalties. In the game of football, the best way to tackle a player is to use their shoulder pad by going at a players waist or legs, which will knock the player down, but using a helmet as a tackling device will result in a spearing penalty, which is a 15 yard penalty and maybe an ejection from the game as well.

Football games consist of 11 players on offense and defense. Players wear many forms of protection before the game and they include thigh pads, butt pad, shoulder pads, knee pads, hip pads, and a helmet. Horse collars are sometimes worn so when a player tackles another player their helmet or head won't go all the way back and sprain their neck or head in any way shape or form. Teams are given three timeouts a half, and today two challenges per game to challenge plays, which are questionable or called wrong by the referee. Teams can challenge spots of the ball, fumbles, interceptions, touchdowns, and catches. Some teams like it and some teams hate the rule, but it proves to be useful. These are some simple rules to the game of football, so get out there and tackle someone.


what a football game looks like
what a football game looks like


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