Introduction to American Football - rules of US football
Football in the world
The football culture
The tale of a game just as if you were there
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Football is a very physical and rough sport. It is true that the players are impressive under their protections of the future. An image of gladiator shines. Football is more than a gladiator sport. It is ruled by hundreds of precise rules, 7 referees are present to keep the game fair play.
The essence of the interest for this sport lies on the base rule that I will try to explain: In order to score points, we need to get as close as possible to the end zone of our opponent. Often the teams advance little by little.
A team has 4 tries (downs) to cover 10 yards. If that team can cover the 10 yards in less than 4 downs, then it can continue its progression. On the other hand if at the 4th down the 10 yards are not covered, then the opponent can get the possession of the ball.
It would be unjust if this rule would stop there because imagine if we are on our own field and we loose the possession of the ball. Then the opponent would have the possibility to score to easily, this is why there is a possibility to make it a bit tougher: At the 4th down, you can kick (punt) the ball with the foot. The team looses the possession of the ball but the opponent will get the ball farther in its own field
Team looses the ball and becomes the defense. (Because in order to continue, we needed at least 7 yards and gained only 5!)
8 yards is a distance relatively big so the good choice would be to PUNT. Often if the distance for the 1st down is bigger than 2 yards then the choice is the punt of a field goal. If we are inside the 35 yards of the opponent field (from the end zone) then we will typically choose a field goal. If the ball is placed 35 yards from the goal line then the kick will have to travel a distance of 50 yards. (the kicker will kick be ball 6 yards behind its current position to protect against the defense, and the field goals are 10 yards behind the goal line so it will be 35 + 6 + 10 = 51 yards.