How Many Rules In American Football (Well Explained!)

Last Updated on October 12, 2021 by Daniel Cuttridge

No doubt, American football is the biggest team sport in North American with its NFL being the most popular professional league in the country. The NFL is made highly competitive with the best players in the world. Besides, the Super Bowl is an event that comes up every year to millions of fans around the world, and this event is the pinnacle of the sport.

It’s common to hear people outside the United States say that the fundamentals of American football are overly complex and difficult to understand. But that’s not entirely true. If you’re really interested in the sport, it won’t take you forever to understand the basics. That’s why we’ve written this article which includes the basic rules of the game, comprising the flow of gameplay and the objective of the game. 

After going through our guide, you’ll not be left out when you’re out there watching or even playing American football. Generally, an American football pitch is 100 yards long and 60 yards wide. To reveal the distance each team has to cover before reaching the end zone, lines are drawn on the field at a 10-yard interval. Measuring 20 yards in length each, the end zones are located at each end of the football field. Lastly, the posts are erected at each end of the pitch for kickers to kick the ball. 

The Object Of The Game

The object of this sport is to score more points than your opponents before the end of the game. And to score more points than your opponents, a team must move the ball down the goal line of the opposing team before eventually taking it into the end zone for a touchdown by either running with the ball or passing it to a teammate. 

Winning The Game

The winner of the game is deemed by the team with the most points at the end of a single game. Overtime will come into play if a regular game is tied, and the two teams will play an additional quarter until a winner is deemed. 

Scoring In American Football

Scoring In American Football

The scoring objective in the game of American football is quite similar to other team sports like soccer and basketball. The ultimate goal is to score more points than the opposing team. 

Safety (2 Points)

If a defensive team tackles one of the players in the offensive team with the ball in their own end zone, they will be awarded two points. 

Field Goal (3 Points)

If a kicker is in a close position to the end zone where he can kick the ball through between the upright posts, he’ll normally attempt a field goal on the fourth down. 

Extra Point (1 Or 2 Points)

Just like a conversion in rugby, a team will gain an extra point when a kicker kicks the ball through the uprights after a touchdown. However, a team will gain two points when a player takes the ball into the end zone again. But most teams opt to take the one point because it’s more difficult to take the ball into the end zone again. 

Touchdown (6 Points)

When a team crosses the goal line of the opposing team with the ball, a touchdown is scored and it’s normally 6 points. Also, a touchdown is scored when a team catches or collects the ball in the end zone. 

Rules Of American Football

Rules Of American Football

1. A regular American football has four quarters which last 15 minutes each. There’s normally a break between the 1st & 2nd and 3rd & 4th quarters, and this break lasts for only 2 minutes. Also, there’s a sort of halftime rest that lasts for about 15 minutes. 

2. Players are allowed hundreds of different plays to run on any down. Besides, teams make the plays and a team organizes its players to run around the field in a tactical way. The plays are called for the defensive team by the defensive captain while the field plays are called for the attacking team by either the quarterback or the head coach. 

3. To gain 10 or more yards in a match, a team has 4 downs each. A yard can be made by either running with the ball or throwing it. The down then resets immediately after a team gains the required yards. A turnover will be awarded to any team that fails to make the yardage after four downs.

4. The referee tosses the coin at the beginning of every match to decide the side of the pitch they want to start from and the team which receives the ball first, just like it is done in soccer. 

5. As the match kicks off, one team punts the ball downfield for the other team to get it and then runs back with it as quickly and as far as possible.

6. There are normally two options for the offensive team on fourth down, which is either the team try to kick the ball or make up the yards they are short. Kicking the ball can be in two major ways; to try for a field goal directly or to punt. A team’s play is usually influenced by its position on the pitch. It’s common to get a field goal attempt when a team is within 40 yards or so of the opposition’s goalposts. Punting the ball will be the only option if a team is positioned further back. 

Closing Thoughts 

American football has rules and fundamentals that all newcomers should understand before venturing into the game. The most important rule is the down system where an offensive team has to advance the ball at least 10 yards on every four downs or plays. Going through this guide will help you know all you have to understand to triumph in the game.  We’ve reached the closing chapter of this informative article. We hope you were able to find good resources in your quest to know how many rules in American football. If you have any questions or comments about the article topic, don’t hesitate to contact us. Thanks

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