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A Woman’s Guide To Football: Common Rules And Calls


A Woman’s Guide To Football: Common Rules And Calls

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By now, football season is in full swing but it’s never too late to go to school.  P.S. The guys will love you for taking time to learn about one of their favorite games. 

The object of football is for the quarterback to move the ball down the field through a series of “downs” to get a “touchdown”. The team with the ball is the offense and the team trying to stop them is the defense. The defense tries to stop the offense by “tackling” the player with the ball as quickly as possible. The quarterback can also lose yards if he is “sacked”, (a defensive player(s) comes up while the quarterback is trying to throw and stops him from throwing the ball, usually by knocking him down). Many times, this is the result of a “blitz”, (three or more players from the defense, ( who are on the current line of scrimmage), run at the quarterback or it can be just one that comes up from behind the line. The “line of scrimmage” is the line the ball is currently on or the yard line the offense has gotten to so far.

The playing field conists of 100 yards and there are three “downs”. If ten yards is not reached on first down, second down would be the remainder. (If the team got 3 yards on 1st down, 2nd down would be “2nd and 7”) If the team can’t move the ball 10 yards within three downs, the team must punt, (kick), the ball to the other team. That team with then run the ball back as far as they can before being stopped by the defense. The other team can also get the ball if the quarterback makes a mistake by throwing an interception, (someone from the other team catches his throw/pass), or if anyone on the offense “fumbles” the ball, (the ball is knocked loose from the quarterback or anyone on the offense before the player is “down”, (both knees on the ground), and picked up by a defensive player. (HINT: If either of these two “boo-boos” occur to HIS team, scream at your tv and throws things, but not at him!) If they do continue to move the ball and get into the “end zone”, they get 6 points and 1 point more as long as the “point after” kick is good. (HINT: If this is HIS team, throw your hands in the air and scream hallelujah!) If they do not get a touchdown, (sigh a bit but still remain hopeful), but come close enough to the end zone to get a field goal, (ball is kicked through that big, yellow Y-shaped thing!), and succeed, that results in 3 points. (Crack a smile but don’t get too excited!) A team can also score points by getting a “safety”. Two points are given if the defense tackles any member of the offense in the end zone.

There are four “quarters” consisting of fifteen minutes each and a “halftime” of 15 minutes in between each two quarters. Each team is given three time-outs per half, (or each 30 mins). The team with the most points, naturally, at the end is victorious. If the game is tied, it goes into “sudden-death overtime”,(sounds like an ambulance is needed but don’t despair!), meaning whoever is first to score ANY points wins.

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