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How To Understand Football

How To Understand Football

Confused by football? VideoJug offers an easy introduction to football for those who don't know the first thing about a first down. Learn the basics about how football is played from VideoJug's own sports broadcasting team.

Step 1: What's the Point?

Football is played between two teams. The object of the game is to score more points than the other team. At any point during the game, one team is "in possession" of the ball, trying to get that ball into the end zone. The team on offense tries to advance the ball by running it on the ground or throwing the ball through the air. The other team is on defense, defending that end zone, trying to keep the team with the ball out.

A game begins with a kick-off. Who kicks to who and which team will defend which side of the field is decided by a coin toss. Each team is given one end zone to defend. It's a team's task to score points in their opponent's end zone.

Step 2: First And Ten

When a team's offense first goes onto the field, they get four chances to make ten yards. Each chance is a play or a "down". It starts when the ball is snapped to the quarterback. He might give it to a running back or try and throw it. But when anyone with the ball gets tackled... or runs out of bounds... the play is over. At that point, the game is on "pause" until the next play begins.

If a team can't get ten yards on 3 downs... they'll use the fourth down to kick the ball. Football is a game of field position. Any coach will tell you: the closer you start to your opponent's end zone, the greater the chance you have to score. That's why teams will kick the ball on fourth down so their opposition is as far away from scoring points as possible. This kick on fourth down is called a punt.

Step 3: Touchdown

Let's talk scoring! First, there's the touchdown. That's when a team crosses the goal line into the end zone with the football. That's worth six points. But after a team scores a touchdown they get a field goal kick from the two yard line for what's called an "extra point", or a "Point after Touchdown", that's worth 1 point if it sails through the yellow U at the back of the end zone which is called a goal post. A team can also forgo the P.A.T. and go for a "two-point conversion". That's when they line up like on a regular play, and try and cross the goal line again.

Step 4: Other Ways To Score

If a team gets close but can't score a touchdown, they may choose to kick a field goal which is worth three points.. The only other way to score is called a safety. And it's special because it actually gives points to the defense. A "safety" is when a team on offense is tackled in their own end zone. It's worth two points and it's rare.