US Football: Basic rules
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US Football: Basic rules


US Football: Basic rules

A favourite sport in the United States and also the rest of the world, American football is indeed an exciting sport. Its different rules, score system, make it more challenging to play and equally enjoyable to watch. So if you intend to start off with American football, here are a few basic rules you need to know:

The number of players:
There are 11 players from a team at a given time on the football field.

Through the game, there are four quarters 15 minutes each.

Each team is allowed three timeouts per half.

Halftime is at the 12th minute.
There is sudden death overtime of 15 minutes if there’s a tie.

The primary objective of playing American football wound up in one sentence will be:
Strive to move the ball towards the opposition’s end zone and then ultimately get into their end zone.
While this may sound easy, when you add the rules and a dash of regulations into it, it becomes a task!

basic rules

You can achieve this task of getting the ball to the opposition’s end zone by running with the ball in hand unless of course, you get tackled by the opponent. When tackled you can pass over the ball to your teammate, who can continue his run towards the touchdown.

The Down game
This is what makes this game interesting. The offensive team is assigned four downs to move the ball in sections of at least 10 yards. You get four chances to do this, and every time you successfully get past 10 yards, you earn another down – which gives you four more chances to go further ten yards!

And what if you don’t cross 10 yards and are done with the four chances? You have to give up possession of the ball to the defensive team.

You can manage to get a field goal if you have neared the opposition’s goal post by the fourth down and are in close proximity to the goal post to kick the ball through it.

Scoring system:

  • If you manage to get past the opposite team’s end zone and manage to collect or catch the ball there, it’s a touchdown, and this fetches you six points.
  • A field goal gains you three points in the United States.
  • Tackling a member of the offensive team when he is with the ball in his zone fetches you two points.
  • Kicking the ball through the uprights after a glorious touchdown gets you one point and taking the ball into the end zone again fetches you two points.


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