Monday, January 4, 2010

Basics of Football for Women

With all of the bowl games that happened in the last month and a few more to go, I thought I would put some basics out there for women (or men) that really do not understand football. The big game is Thursday night and there will be many parties out there to go to to watch the BCS championship.

First thing to know is that there is an offense and a defense team on the field. The defense and the offense each have 11 men. The offense is the team with the ball. Of course, their objective is to score points. The field of play is 100 yards long and 50 yards wide. The offense has 4 tries to get 10 yards. The offense will do this using a passing (throwing) play or a running play. When the player with the ball is tackled on the ground, the referree will whistle the play dead. If they do not get the 10 yards in the first 3 attempts, they have the option to either punt (kick) the ball to the other team or they can try to get the remaining yards with a running or throwing play. In my next posting, I will explain a bit on how the decision is made to punt or run a play.

The defense is the team that is trying to stop the offense from scoring. They will try to stop plays from succeeding and also try to cause a turnover. A turnover is either a fumble or an interception. A fumble is where an offensive player is running with the ball and he loses the ball out of his hands. The defense will try to get the fumble so their offense can take over. An interception is where a defensive guy catches the pass from the opposing team.

One more basic fact is that the game consists of four 15 minute quarters plus a halftime (time when the bands perform and the players go to the locker room). This means that there is 60 minutes of football but with TV timeouts, penalties, clock stops and instant replays, a game can be around 4 hours. Stay tuned tomorrow for more basics about football.

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