Football 101


There are 4 Quarters…15 minutes each. Clock stops during the game for different reasons.
There are 2 teams, each can have 11 players on the field at a time.
Coin toss at the beginning of the game decides who gets the ball first (the winning team can pick to kick off or receive)
Offense – Team that has the ball – Has 4 tries to go 10 yards.
Defense – Tries to keep the offense from scoring.



Team that has the ball…
They are trying to get to the end zone.
They have 4 tries to make it 10 yards.
If they make it….they get four more tries. FIRST DOWN.
2nd and 5 means the team is going for it’s second try and has 5 of the original 10 yards to go.
Once at near end zone…they can try for a touchdown (6 pts. + 1pt Extra kick) or a Field Goal (3 pts.) Sometimes after getting a touchdown, the team will try for a “two point conversion,” which basically means, the QB will pass the ball to a receiver in the end zone.


The Center hikes the ball to the Quarterback. The Quarterback either hands off/tosses the ball to the Running Back or throws/passes it down the field to a Wide Receiver. The Offensive Line is the bigger guys that try to keep the Defense from stopping the quarterback or tackling the Running Backs or Receivers.


Defensive Line – Big guys in the middle trying to tackle the quarterback.
Free Safety – Tries to stop receivers from catching the ball




There are a number of penalties in football. Each gives the other team 5, 10, or 15 yards.
Some of the most frequent calls are:
Holding – offensive holding is when the team with the ball tries to block a defensive player by grabbing or holding his body or uniform. Defensive Holding is called when a defensive player blocks an offensive player by grabbing or holding his body or uniform. HOWEVER if a defensive player grabs or holds a player who is trying to catch the ball, the penalty is called Pass Interference.
Off-sides – When the Defense suddenly moves forward before the other team snaps (hikes) the ball.
False Start – When the Offense (team with the ball) suddenly moves in an attempt to get the defense to move “OFFSIDES”
Personal Foul – Examples of this might be a player grabbing another player’s face mask, punching another player, trying to make helmet to helmet contact. This is worth 15 yards.Sack – When a quarterback is tackled behind the line of scrimmage.
Interception – When the defense catches the ball that is being thrown by the QB or when it bounces off of an offensive player and is airborne. If the defensive player catches the ball before it hits the ground they can run it towards their end zone and the ball is “turned over”


Once a team gets a touchdown, or field goal…they have to kick the ball to the other team (Kick off).

If a team does not make it 10 yards in 4 tries (downs) they have to punt the ball to the other team. [If a team does not make it to 10 yards by their 4th try, they will either try again, “going for it” on 4th down and risk giving the ball to the other team or they can kick the ball down the field to the other team.]

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