Yes, they stop and start.
It's like Rugby, but for girls
you get 4 goes to get the ball 10 yards, if you do you get 4 more to get it another 10, get it right the other way to the end of the "gridiron" and you win your very own touchdown.
I'm british too, don't use that as an excuse, we don't like their ignorance of the biggest sport in the world, he he.
its NOT football, it's closer to rugby, only the big puffs have to wear crash helmets and padding n stuff.
A lot of people say it's like rugby "but for girls" as a previous poster did....however when you realize that the smallest of those players is roughly 6foot 2inchs tall and weighs 200lbs! you can see the need for pads =)
but any way...heres a link
Edit: the average weight for linebackers in the NFL (national football league) is around 300lbs...now imigine that running at you collideing at full speed without pads ;)
Edit again: here's a video of some hard football hits http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YO9R8v9S...
Wikipedia has a great explanation of the rules and strategy of the game.
Looks like Kevin beat me to it.
It's a derivative of Rugby. Too much stop and start for me.
I'd like to see one of you fools get clobbered by someone 6'2" and 265lbs running full speed with those pads on and then hear you call it Rugby for girls.
anyways, start with points:
Touchdown = 6
Extra Point = 1
2 pt conversion = 2
Field goal = 3
Safety = 2 Safety is a defensive score where the ball carrier is tackled in opposing teams End Zone or perhaps behind the opposing teams goal line may be clearer
11 players per team on field at a time:
Offense has QB who is also known as a signal caller and hands the ball off to a Running Back or throws to a reciever...generally. RB generally carries the ball on running plays but can also run passing routes. The RB is positioned behind QB and defended by an offensive line which consists usually of one center who snaps the ball to the QB, two guards, two tackles, and at least 1 tight end who blocks and sometimes run out on passing routes along with the recievers and RBs..there are rules regarding how many players must be on the line of scrimmage(where the ball is spotted) at the time the ball is snapped which I won't get into but in the organized football different formations (Pro I, 4 WR, goaline formations for example) require teams to abide by those rules when setting up for a play.
Defense consists of a line as well which generally consist of 3 to 4 players but doesn't have to be limited to that..it all depends on defensive style and situation. The line consists of two ends, and either a center and/or two guards although there are other possibilities as well. Behind the line are the Line Backers which, again, generally range from 3 to 4 but it will range anywhere from 2 to 5 usually depending on situation. Behind the LB are the Safeties..and there are generally two, these guys along with the LBs are your hard hitting guys who tend to range all over the field depending upon what the offense is doing. On the outside of the line are Corner/defensive backs. The CB main priority is to cover the recievers who are positioned on the flank of the offensive line.
Those are your main positions and depending on team and situation you will find a vast array of combinations called formations or sets.
Playing field is 100 yards long...120 if you include both endzones.
Basic rules...offense has 4 downs to get 10 yards(a 1st down) and another set of 4 downs...although, failure to get a 1st down on the first 3 attempts will usually result (on 4th down) in either a punt in which a kicker will punt the ball to the other teams returner in an attempt to set the other team as far back as possible or in a Field Goal attempt for 3 pts if close enough...whch is generally within 55 yards of the goal posts which are centered on the back line of the endzone. Failure to get a 1st down in the 4 downs will result in a turnover of possession at the spot of the ball. The goal is to matriculate the ball down the field and have a ball carrier take the ball across the goal line for a TD. There are 4 quarters, each 15 minutes in length. A tie will result in overtime which can be sudden death as in the pros or a series of alternating attempts to score until one team bests the other teams attempt. This last style is used in college.
There are MANY rules and regulations governing the sport which can take time to learn but if you have a chance to watch a few games most of the important ones you can pick up easily. I know I said a lot but the game is quite complex.
As for good teams to watch, any will do but the New England Patriots are probably the most sound team to watch..I'm a Cleveland Browns' fan but they are not so good right now.
I'll weigh in on the "rugby for girls" comments:
Rugby does not have forward passes to full speed Olympic fast sprinters who are about to be tackled in the open field by full speed defenders that weigh 190 lbs of solid muscle. Enough said.
Check out the site below. They have a "ask the Coach" thread that will teach you allot. This way you can ask more direct questions and they will get better answers. Look for me there My name is WareqbKiller
By the way, its nothing like rugby. We don't throw the ball to another player to avoid contact and the pads are not for protection they are for hitting!!
For all you out there saying it's just rugby for girls.. Consider this stat. Dwight Freeney is a defensive lineman forr the Indy Colts, he's 6'1" 270lbs. he runs a 4.38 sec. 40-yrd dash. And that's cause he's a lineman.. Typically the lineman are the slowest guys on he field. running full speed he would literally kill anyone he hits. that's why he wears pads. it's intelligent.. It's called saftey. See we like the sport, not the blood and gore . Save that for MMA.. I guess if i had t compare it to rugby, i'd call it rugby evolved.. Not to mention i is the fastest growing sport in the world.. Understandably soccer is popular around the world. it's popular.And they are some world class distance runners. it's too easy and cheap for American's . We like the complicated plays, penalties, and the personalities. Like it or not American Football is the future. And as for matchups, i'd say look at the rivalries.. the Bears vs. the Vikings, And the Dallas Cowboys and anyone else, They have rivals in the Cardinals, eagles, 49'ers,and the Redskins. I still say the Cowboys are America's team .. Of course I'm from Texas so yes it's a biased opinion. check out youtube and search for football plays.. or games.. Search "the play" it's college football, California vs. Stanford, That is what American football is about.
boy tough question to answer in a few words but I will try to simplify...(these are the basics).
Basically it's a game of field position. The goal is to get as far to the other side of the 100 yard field as you can. Your team can run or throw the ball to a teammate to pick up yards (similar to meters). They (the offense) have 3 downs (attempts) to pick up at least 10 yards which gives them another 3 downs. After 3 downs the team must choose whether or not they will "go for it" (try to get the yardage needed) or punt it away and try to stop the other team. The advantage to punting is to send the ball as far away from your side of the field as possible. If your team "goes for it" and gets stopped short the other team gets the ball on that spot.
Once your team gets close to the other side of the field (ie...a successful drive) they may choose to kick a field goal with their 4th down (which means to kick the ball through a goalpost), punt it away, or "go for it". A field goal is always worth 3 points. If your team gets all the way to the other side of the field that is a touchdown (worth 6 points with a short kick to try to add 1 more for a total of 7 points).
The basics are to move the ball and try to avoid turnovers (throwing it to the other team or dropping it while running with it so the other team can pick it up).
There are other things (like 2 point conversions, penalties, etc...) but those will just confuse you more...lol...If you understand the basics first the other stuff will be learned as you watch the games.
There are 11 guys on one team who have the ball, called the offense, who are trying to move the ball past the goal line. There are 11 guys on the other team, called the defense, who are trying to prevent the offense from getting across the goal line.
The field is 100 yards in length, marked off in one yard chalk marks called hash marks, and is 53 yards wide.
The team with the ball has 4 chances to gain AT LEAST 10 yards. The team can gain the 10 yards by passing or running. If it gains the 10 yards in the 4 tries, that is called a "first down" and then the team gets another 4 chances to get another 10 yards.
In the meantime, the team without the ball (the defense) is trying to stop the other team from gaining the 10 yards in the 4 chances given.
Sometimes new fans don't understand that if the team with the ball only gains 6 yards in the first 3 chances, the team with the ball decides to PUNT. That is, the team lines up and has a kicker kick the ball downfield to the defense. The reason the team with the ball might decide to PUNT is because they only gained 6 yards on their first 3 attempts and they decide they think it will be better to kick the ball away because they don't think they can get the needed 4 of the 10 yards remaining.
Some things to pay attention to as a new fan: the offensive line guys. These are 5 guys who line up to protect the QB while he takes the ball so the QB either has time to pass or hand off to a running back. The offensive line guys are supposed to protect the QB if he is going to pass OR smash down defensive players so the running back has space (called a hole) to run the ball.
There are so many rules and very different schemes depending on whether the offense has 1 yard to go to get a first down or 10 yards to go.
The best explanation is at the official NFL website on this url:
If you have specific questions about certain terminology or phrases you often hear, just keep asking.
It's a very complex, smash mouth game. And there are so few games, every single one is extremely important.
I think the game has been very well explained earlier but I'd like to pick up on the Rugby/gridiron(you can't call it football) debate.
I don't think that there is anyway you can compare the two.
For a start rugby players are on the field for the full 80 minutes without the need for oxygen breaks!
Gridiron players can be big and fast and exciting to watch but then they have a commercial break or sit a couple of plays out to get their breath back!
Rugby players do wear some padding but I would suggest that if the Gridiron players wore less than what they use now it would be to the detriment of their game.
Personally I love both games and whilst I prefer Rugby I never miss American Football when its on the TV. (For the benefit of Americans who may not know, we get two live games every Sunday during the season,sometimes voting for which game we want to watch, and we see all the play off games and of course championship and Superbowl games live as well.) Can any one get those bloody half time shows at the superbowl dropped, the players dont need the break most of them have hardly been on the field for more than a few minutes!
AS for teams to watch out for..........Denver Broncos, New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons are worth watching