Objective of the Game:
The game is played between two teams, offense and defense. The offense’s objective is to advance the ball down the field and score points, while the defense aims to prevent the offense from doing so.
A touchdown is scored when the ball crosses the goal line of the opponent’s end zone. After a touchdown, the scoring team can choose to kick an extra point by attempting a short field goal (1 point) or attempt a two-point conversion from a closer distance (2 points).
Each offensive possession consists of four downs. The offense must advance the ball at least 10 yards within these downs to gain a new set of downs. If they fail to do so, the opposing team takes over possession from the spot of the last play.
Yard Lines and Markers:
The field is marked with lines every 10 yards, making it easier to track the distance needed for a first down. The line to gain is the point where the offense needs to reach to earn a new set of downs.
Positions and Formations:
The offense has various player positions, including the quarterback, offensive linemen, wide receivers, and running backs. Defensive positions include defensive linemen, linebackers, and defensive backs. Teams can use different formations to suit their strategy.
Penalties occur for infractions such as holding, offsides, pass interference, and unnecessary roughness. Penalties can result in yardage gains or losses, automatic first downs, or the replay of a down.
The officiating crew consists of referees and other officials. They enforce the rules, call penalties, and determine the outcome of challenges and reviews.
Each game consists of four quarters, and the clock runs continuously except in specific situations. The clock stops during timeouts, after incomplete passes, when a player goes out of bounds, or after certain penalties.
Kickoffs and Punts:
The game starts with a kickoff, where the ball is kicked from one team to the other. After scoring, the ball is kicked off to the opposing team. Punting is used to relinquish possession while attempting to pin the opponent deep in their territory.
Challenges and Reviews:
Coaches can challenge specific calls made by officials. If a challenge is successful, the call may be overturned based on video review. Teams are usually allowed two challenges per game.
If the game is tied at the end of regulation, an overtime period is played. Each team gets a chance to possess the ball unless the first possession results in a touchdown. After both teams possess the ball, the game continues until a winner is determined.
Rules are designed to prioritize player safety, including restrictions on helmet-to-helmet hits, hits on defenseless players, and late hits.
Each team has a limited number of timeouts that can be used to stop the clock or strategize during the game.
Injuries and Substitutions:
If a player is injured and unable to continue, they must leave the field for at least one play. Teams can substitute players during stoppages in play.