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Santa's Run: American Football HTML5. Return Man 3: The Season Flash. Pro Kicker Frenzy Unity 3D. The main goal of the wide receiver is to catch passes thrown by the quarterback,  but they may also function as decoys or as blockers during running plays.
Tight ends line up outside the tackles and function both as receivers and as blockers. The role of the defense is to prevent the offense from scoring by tackling the ball carrier or by forcing turnovers interceptions or fumbles.
The defensive line DL consists of defensive ends DE and defensive tackles DT. Defensive ends line up on the ends of the line, while defensive tackles line up inside, between the defensive ends.
The primary responsibilities of defensive ends and defensive tackles are to stop running plays on the outside and inside, respectively, to pressure the quarterback on passing plays, and to occupy the line so that the linebackers can break through.
Linebackers line up behind the defensive line but in front of the defensive backfield. They are divided into two types: middle linebackers MLB and outside linebackers OLB.
Linebackers are the defensive leaders and call the defensive plays. Their diverse roles include defending the run, pressuring the quarterback, and guarding backs, wide receivers and tight ends in the passing game.
The defensive backfield , often called the secondary, consists of cornerbacks CB and safeties S. Safeties are themselves divided into free safeties FS and strong safeties SS.
Safeties line up between the cornerbacks but farther back in the secondary. Safeties are the last line of defense and are responsible for stopping deep passing plays as well as running plays.
The special teams unit is responsible for all kicking plays. The special teams unit of the team in control of the ball tries to execute field goal FG attempts, punts and kickoffs , while the opposing team's unit will aim to block or return them.
Three positions are specific to the field goal and PAT point-after-touchdown unit: the placekicker K or PK , holder H and long snapper LS.
The long snapper's job is to snap the football to the holder, who will catch and position it for the placekicker. There is not usually a holder on kickoffs, because the ball is kicked off a tee; however, a holder may be used in certain situations, such as if wind is preventing the ball from remaining upright on the tee.
The player on the receiving team who catches the ball is known as the kickoff returner KR. The positions specific to punt plays are the punter P , long snapper, upback and gunner.
The long snapper snaps the football directly to the punter, who then drops and kicks it before it hits the ground. Gunners line up split outside the line and race down the field, aiming to tackle the punt returner PR —the player who catches the punt.
Upbacks line up a short distance behind the line of scrimmage, providing additional protection to the punter. In football, the winner is the team that has scored more points at the end of the game.
There are multiple ways to score in a football game. The touchdown TD , worth six points, is the most valuable scoring play in American football.
A touchdown is scored when a live ball is advanced into, caught in, or recovered in the opposing team's end zone. A PAT is most commonly attempted from the two- or three-yard line, depending on the level of play.
If a PAT is scored by a placekick or dropkick through the goal posts, it is worth one point, typically called the extra point.
If it is scored by what would normally be a touchdown it is worth two points, typically called the two-point conversion.
In general, the extra point is almost always successful while the two-point conversion is a much riskier play with a higher probability of failure; accordingly, extra point attempts are far more common than two-point conversion attempts.
A field goal FG , worth three points, is scored when the ball is placekicked or dropkicked through the uprights and over the crossbars of the defense's goalposts.
A safety is scored when the ball carrier is tackled in their own end zone. Safeties are worth two points, which are awarded to the defense.
Lines marked along the ends and sides of the field are known as the end lines and sidelines. Goal lines are marked 10 yards 9.
Weighted pylons are placed the sidelines on the inside corner of the intersections with the goal lines and end lines.
White markings on the field identify the distance from the end zone. Inbound lines, or hash marks , are short parallel lines that mark off 1-yard 0.
Yard lines , which can run the width of the field, are marked every 5 yards 4. A one-yard-wide line is placed at each end of the field; this line is marked at the center of the two-yard line in professional play and at the three-yard line in college play.
Numerals that display the distance from the closest goal line in yards are placed on both sides of the field every ten yards. Goalposts are located at the center of the plane of the two end lines.
The crossbar of these posts is 10 feet 3. Goal posts are padded at the base, and orange ribbons are normally placed at the tip of each upright as indicators of wind strength and direction.
The football itself is an oval ball, similar to the balls used in rugby or Australian rules football. Football games last for a total of 60 minutes in professional and college play and are divided into two halves of 30 minutes and four quarters of 15 minutes.
The visiting team can call either "heads" or "tails"; the winner of the toss chooses whether to receive or kick off the ball or which goal they wish to defend.
They can defer their choice until the second half. Unless the winning team decides to defer, the losing team chooses the option the winning team did not select—to receive, kick, or select a goal to defend to begin the second half.
Most teams choose to receive or defer, because choosing to kick the ball to start the game allows the other team to choose which goal to defend. Games last longer than their defined length due to play stoppages—the average NFL game lasts slightly over three hours.
An operator is responsible for starting, stopping and operating the game clock based on the direction of the appropriate official.
If the play clock expires before the ball has been snapped or free-kicked, a delay of game foul is called on the offense.
The play clock is set 25 seconds after certain administrative stoppages in play and to 40 seconds when play is proceeding without such stoppages.
There are two main ways the offense can advance the ball: running and passing. In a typical play, the center passes the ball backwards and between their legs to the quarterback in a process known as the snap.
The quarterback then either hands the ball off to a back, throws the ball, or runs with it. The play ends when the player with the ball is tackled or goes out-of-bounds or a pass hits the ground without a player having caught it.
A forward pass can be legally attempted only if the passer is behind the line of scrimmage; only one forward pass can be attempted per down.
The offense is given a series of four plays, known as downs. If the offense advances ten or more yards in the four downs, they are awarded a new set of four downs.
If they fail to advance ten yards, possession of the football is turned over to the defense. In most situations, if the offense reaches their fourth down they will punt the ball to the other team, which forces them to begin their drive from farther down the field; if they are in field goal range , they might attempt to score a field goal instead.
There are two categories of kicks in football: scrimmage kicks, which can be executed by the offensive team on any down from behind or on the line of scrimmage,    and free kicks.
On a kickoff, the ball is placed at the yard line of the kicking team in professional and college play and at the yard line in high school play.
The ball may be drop-kicked or place-kicked. If a place kick is chosen, the ball can be placed on the ground or a tee; a holder may be used in either case.
On a safety kick, the kicking team kicks the ball from their own yard line. They can punt, drop-kick or place-kick the ball, but a tee may not be used in professional play.
Any member of the receiving team may catch or advance the ball. The ball may be recovered by the kicking team once it has gone at least ten yards and has touched the ground or has been touched by any member of the receiving team.
The three types of scrimmage kicks are place kicks, drop kicks, and punts. Only place kicks and drop kicks can score points.
If it is touched or recovered by the kicking team beyond this line, it becomes dead at the spot where it was touched. The receiving team has the option of signaling for a fair catch , which prohibits the defense from blocking into or tackling the receiver.
The play ends as soon as the ball is caught and the ball may not be advanced. Officials are responsible for enforcing game rules and monitoring the clock.
All officials carry a whistle and wear black-and-white striped shirts and black hats except for the referee, whose hat is white.
Each carries a weighted yellow flag that is thrown to the ground to signal that a foul has been called. An official who spots multiple fouls will throw their hat as a secondary signal.
Another set of officials, the chain crew , are responsible for moving the chains. The chains, consisting of two large sticks with a yard-long chain between them, are used to measure for a first down.
The chain crew stays on the sidelines during the game, but if requested by the officials they will briefly bring the chains on to the field to measure.
A typical chain crew will have at least three people—two members of the chain crew will hold either of the two sticks, while a third will hold the down marker.
The down marker, a large stick with a dial on it, is flipped after each play to indicate the current down and is typically moved to the approximate spot of the ball.
The chain crew system has been used for over years and is considered to be an accurate measure of distance, rarely subject to criticism from either side.
Football is a full-contact sport, and injuries are relatively common. Most injuries occur during training sessions, particularly ones that involve contact between players.
At a minimum players must wear a football helmet and a set of shoulder pads , but individual leagues may require additional padding such as thigh pads and guards, knee pads, chest protectors, and mouthguards.
The most common types of injuries are strains , sprains , bruises , fractures, dislocations , and concussions. Repeated concussions and possibly sub-concussive head impacts  can increase a person's risk in later life for CTE chronic traumatic encephalopathy and mental health issues such as dementia , Parkinson's disease , and depression.
A study performed by the VA Boston Healthcare System and the Boston University School of Medicine found that tackle football before age 12 was correlated with earlier onset of symptoms of CTE, but not with symptom severity.
More specifically, each year a player played tackle football under age 12 predicted earlier onset of cognitive, behavioral, and mood problems by an average of two and a half years.
The National Football League NFL and the National Collegiate Athletic Association NCAA are the most popular football leagues in the United States.
College football is the third-most popular sport in the United States, behind professional baseball and professional football. High school football is the most popular sport in the United States played by boys; over 1.
The NFHS is the largest organization for high school football, with member associations in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia. USA Football is the governing body for youth and amateur football,  and Pop Warner Little Scholars is the largest organization for youth football.
Several professional football leagues have been formed outside the auspices of the NFL. One such league, the XFL , is currently operating as of The most successful league to directly compete with the NFL was the American Football League AFL , which existed from to AFL teams began signing NFL players to contracts, and the league's popularity grew to challenge that of the NFL.
The two leagues merged in the season , and all the AFL teams joined the NFL. An earlier league, the All-America Football Conference AAFC , was in play from to After it had dissolved, two AAFC teams, the Cleveland Browns and the San Francisco 49ers , became members of the NFL; another member, the Baltimore Colts joined the league, but folded after just a year in the NFL.
Other attempts to start rival leagues since the AFL merged with the NFL in have been far less successful, as professional football salaries and the NFL's television contracts began to escalate out of the reach of competitors and the NFL covered more of the larger cities.
The World Football League WFL played for two seasons, in and , but faced such severe monetary issues it could not pay its players. In its second and final season the WFL attempted to establish a stable credit rating, but the league disbanded before the season could be completed.
Originally not intended as a rival league, the entry of owners who sought marquee talent and to challenge the NFL led to an escalation in salaries and ensuing financial losses.
The original XFL was created in by Vince McMahon and lasted for only one season. Despite television contracts with NBC and UPN , and high expectations, the XFL suffered from low quality of play and poor reception for its use of tawdry professional wrestling gimmicks , which caused initially high ratings and attendance to collapse.
The United Football League UFL began in but folded after suspending its season amid declining interest and lack of major television coverage.
American football leagues exist throughout the world, but the game has yet to achieve the international success and popularity of baseball and basketball.
These countries rank far below the United States, which is dominant at the international level. NFL Europa , the developmental league of the NFL, operated from to and then from to At the time of its closure, NFL Europa had five teams based in Germany and one in the Netherlands.
The league operates in a promotion and relegation structure with German Football League 2 GFL2 , which also has 16 teams. The competition is contested between the top six European teams.
American football federations are present in Africa , the Americas , Asia , Europe and Oceania ; a total of 64 national football federations exist as of July The IFAF also organizes the annual International Bowl game.
These include the predominant participation of men in international play and the short three-week Olympic schedule.
Large team sizes are an additional difficulty, due to the Olympics' set limit of 10, athletes and coaches. American football also has an issue with a lack of global visibility.
Nigel Melville , the CEO of USA Rugby , noted that "American football is recognized globally as a sport, but it's not played globally.
Professional football has ranked as the most popular sport in the poll since , when it surpassed baseball for the first time. In a study, the NCAA estimated there were around 1.
American football also plays a significant role in American culture. The day on which the Super Bowl is held is considered a de facto national holiday ,  and in parts of the country like Texas , the sport has been compared to a religion.
However, if New Year's Day is on a Sunday, the bowl games are moved to another date so as not to conflict with the typical NFL Sunday schedule.
Merit is rewarded, not punished. Masculinity is celebrated, not feminized. People of various beliefs and backgrounds — a melting pot, if you will — must unify for a common goal for the team to be successful".
The safety of the sport has also sparked national controversy in American popular culture. It is often received as "overly aggressive", and defamiliarized in popular culture.
Bennet Omalu , a neuropathologist who was the first to discover and publish findings of chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE. In Canada, the game has a significant following.
It was the second-most popular sport in Mexico in the s, with the game being particularly popular in colleges. Japan was introduced to the sport in by Paul Rusch , a teacher and Christian missionary who helped to establish football teams at three universities in Tokyo.
Play was halted during World War II, but the sport began growing in popularity again after the war.
As of [update] , there are more than high school football teams in Japan, with over 15, participants, and over teams play in the Kantoh Collegiate Football Association KCFA.
Europe is a major target for the expansion of the game by football organizers. In the United Kingdom in the s, the sport was popular, with the Super Bowl being watched by over four million people about 1 out of every 14 Britons.
Its popularity faded during the s, coinciding with the establishment of the Premier League —top level of the English football league system. According to BBC America , there is a "social stigma" surrounding American football in the UK, with many Brits feeling the sport has no right to call itself "football" due to the lack of emphasis on kicking.
Super Bowl viewership has also rebounded, with over 4. In Brazil , football is a growing sport. It was generally unknown there until the s when a small group of players began playing on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.
The sport grew gradually with amateur players registering within 20 years. Games were played on the beach with modified rules and without the traditional football equipment due to its lack of availability in Brazil.
Eventually, a tournament, the Carioca championship, was founded, with the championship Carioca Bowl played to determine a league champion.
The country saw its first full-pad game of football in October The sport's increase in popularity has been attributed to games aired on ESPN , which began airing in Brazil in with Portuguese commentary.
The network, along with Esporte Interativo , airs games there on cable television. Football is often associated in Brazil as being the sport of supermodel Gisele Bündchen 's husband Tom Brady.
The NFL has expressed interest in having games in the country, and the Super Bowl has become a widely watched event in Brazil at bars and movie theaters.
Canadian football , the predominant form of football in Canada, is closely related to American football—both sports developed from rugby and are considered to be the chief variants of gridiron football.
Indoor football leagues constitute what The New York Times writer Mike Tanier described as the "most minor of minor leagues. The Indoor Football League is an example of a prominent indoor league.
There are several non-contact variants of football like Flag football. Depending on the rules used, a game of touch football may require the player be touched with either one or two hands to be considered down.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the American variation of gridiron football. For other uses, see American football disambiguation.
Team field sport. Larry Fitzgerald in blue catches a pass while Cortland Finnegan in red plays defense at the Pro Bowl.
Football gridiron. Team sport ball game. Football Football helmet Pads shoulder , thigh, knee , and optionally elbow pads.
Main article: Football word. Main articles: History of American football and American football in the United States. Main article: American football positions.
Main article: American football rules. Main article: American football field. See also: Official American football , Chain crew , and Penalty gridiron football.
See also: Protective equipment in gridiron football and Health issues in American football. Main article: American football in the United States.
See also: Canadian football , Arena football , and Flag football. American football portal. American football strategy Comparison of American football and rugby union Comparison of American football and rugby league Fantasy football American List of American football players List of American football stadiums by capacity List of leagues of American and Canadian football Steroid use in American football.
Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports. Archived from the original on December 30, Retrieved January 14, Britannica Online Encyclopedia.
Archived from the original on June 14, Retrieved July 13, What's In A Name? Retrieved April 19, BBC News. Archived from the original on June 9, Retrieved June 28, Australian Broadcasting Company.
Archived from the original on October 28, September Archived from the original on March 1, Rutgers University. Archived from the original on September 24, Retrieved November 24, The Beginnings of Football in America" PDF.
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