The Basics of Football


Football is one of the most popular team games in the world. It is played by people of all ages and abilities from all around the globe. It is a sport that teaches the importance of teamwork over individual brilliance. It also helps develop a sense of fair play and respect for the rules.

The game consists of two opposing teams of 11 players each who move the ball between goals at opposite ends of a rectangular playing field. The ball used is called a football, and it must be inflated to a pressure of about 60 pounds per square inch. Players must wear protective equipment, including shin pads and the correct boots. A maximum of three substitutions are allowed in each half of the match. The ball can be kicked or passed, but it must not be touched with hands unless in the case of a deliberate handball.

Offensive players line up facing the defensive team at a position called the line of scrimmage. A center then passes (or snaps) the ball between his legs to another player, usually a quarterback. The quarterback can then throw the ball to other teammates by hand or pass it through the air to a running back. One of these passes is known as a handoff and the other is known as a lateral.

A player can also catch a pass that was intended for a teammate and run with it. The defensive team then tries to tackle or push the ball carrier out of bounds. If the defensive team successfully prevents the offense from moving at least 10 yards in four downs, it gets the ball again at the spot where it last got a first down.

Points are scored mainly by running or passing the ball into the opposing team’s end zone for a touchdown. Alternatively, the scoring team can kick the ball over the crossbar and through the goal posts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.

If the offensive team misses a field goal attempt it is given the ball at its own 20-yard line. A team can punt the ball to the defense if they think it would be better not to risk giving up possession at their current spot on the field, or if they are too far from the other team’s end zone for a field goal attempt. The ball can also be punted if the offensive team wants to get the ball closer to the end zone in order to try for a touchdown.