The Basics of Football


Among the world’s most popular sports, football (soccer) has evolved from an early game played on roads and meadows in England to a global sport attracting millions of spectators worldwide. The development of modern football is closely linked to the industrialization of Victorian Britain. In the early 1900s, working-class people in England and other countries began to seek new forms of recreation. Football provided them with a game they could play during Saturday afternoons off work.

In football, each team has a playbook of dozens to hundreds of plays. Each play is assigned to one of three coaches. The coaches are responsible for different aspects of the game, such as strategy, offense or defense. Each team also has a training program that involves conditioning and individual drills to build strength. Football players are also required to wear protective gear such as helmets and shin pads.

The game is played by two teams of 11 players, with the offensive team trying to advance the ball through the opponent’s end zone. The offensive team usually has a quarterback. The quarterback is in charge of passing the ball to other players. The defensive team covers the receivers. When a receiver is tackled, the offensive unit takes over the last position on the field. The offensive team advances the ball into the end zone by running with it or passing it to a teammate. The defensive team is usually assigned a defensive back, commonly called a “safety.”

The defensive team receives the ball at the spot where the previous play began. If the offensive team successfully moves the ball 10 yards, they receive four more attempts. The team that fails to gain first down is awarded a penalty. Some penalties give the offense automatic first down. Other penalties move the football towards the defense’s end zone.

When an offensive player fumbles the ball out of the end zone, the defense scores a safety. This score is worth two points. The defensive team will try to tackle the offensive player and force him to return the ball to the end zone. If the offensive player fails to return the ball, the defense scores an interception. If the defense makes the interception, the defensive player may run with the ball until the ball is tackled or out of bounds.

In American football, each team receives three time-outs during each half. Teams are allowed to substitute players, but may not carry more than a total of seven players at any time. The game also features a pro bowl, an all-star game that includes the top players from each conference. The tournament at the end of the season determines the national champions.

The Football Association in England was formed in 1863. The first international football tournament was held in 1883, featuring four national teams. In 1884, the FA became involved in a dispute over professionalism. It sanctioned the payment of players a year later. It also began to charge spectators. In the late 19th century, 30,000 spectators would attend major matches.