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All About American Football

All About American Football - By Felicia

At school, in gym class, I'm covering a unit on American football. It's a sport I'm not really familiar with, so I decided to write an article about it, just like I did with my article about hockey. I'm not very familiar with football, so reading the "short description" of the sport didn't help AT ALL, so I did some further, more extensive research on this sport. The Football Field

The playing field is 100 yards long with a 10-yard end zone for each team at either end. The field has stripes running the width of the field at 5-yard intervals, as shown in this picture. There are also shorter lines, called hash marks, that mark the field at shorter, 1-yard intervals.

Teams In football, there are two teams who play against each other, each comprised of eleven players. There are offense players, defense players, and one quarterback. If a team has possession of the ball, they are considered to be on the offense and use their offense players to attempt to run with the ball or pass the ball forward toward the opponent’s end zone. Meanwhile, the other team, considered to be on defense, will use their defense players to attempt to stop the other team from advancing the ball.

Starting the game The game begins when one of the teams kicks off the football to the other. The captains from each team and the referee meet at the center of the field for a coin toss to determine which side is the kicking team. The receiving team must catch the ball and try to advance the ball toward the opposite end of the field to the other team's end zone. The play, or down, ends when the ball goes down to the ground or the ball goes out of bounds. The place where it landed is called the line of scrimmage, and it’s placed there for the next round. The offense is given four plays, or downs, to to gain 10 yards or more. Upon achieving 10 yards, the offense is awarded four more attempts to achieve 10 or more yards and play continues like that until the offense scores or the defense regains possession of the ball.

How to Score

The biggest goal for the offense is to score a touchdown. To score a touchdown, a player must carry the ball across the opposition's goal line or catch a pass in the end zone. Once the ball crosses the plane of the goal line while it is in a player's possession, it is scored a touchdown. A touchdown is worth six points. The team scoring a touchdown is given the bonus of trying to add one or two more points. These are called extra-point conversion attempts.

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