Photo by Moazzam Brohi / Flickr
Football: it’s an American pastime that grabs our attention every fall and winter. From kick-off through overtime, die-hard sports fans and sports laymen are glued to the games. Whether you’re in the bleachers or on the couch, you can’t enjoy the game unless you know what’s going on.
So you can follow the game without a problem, you need to know the basics. How many points for what, and when a player is offsides are some of the key elements to enjoy a Sunday game. If you’re scratching your head and wondering what the point of a red flag is, then please take a timeout and read these basic facts about football. Be warned, it may lead to you wanting to enroll in a sport management course.
Know the Basic Point System
A touchdown is six points. Teams can kick for an extra, or try to run in into the endzone for a two-point conversion. Teams can kick for a field goal, which is worth three points, and a safety, or tackling a player with the ball in his end zone, is worth two points.
False Start and Offsides
A false start is when a player on the offensive team makes a move before the play has actually begun. Offsides is quite the opposite, It marks when a player on the defensive team make a move before the play has actually begun.
The Thin Yellow Line
The thin yellow line you see on the television marks how far a team has to go to get their next down. They’ve also started marking on television when a team is in the Red Zone, which mean that the offensive team has the ball at the 20 yard line and is primed for a touchdown.
Know When You’re Down and Out
A team has four downs to get to the next first down. So when the announcer says “3rd and 10,” it means that the offensive team is on their 3rd down and they have ten yards to go to first down. If a team is on their 4th down, they risk losing the ball to the other team and might punt the ball. But if they’re “4th and inches,” they might try to run it.
Here Come the Flags
A yellow flag means a referee is calling a foul on the play. If a coach throws a red flag, then it’s a “coach’s challenge” which means they disagree with the foul called by the referee. When a red flag is thrown, the referees review the play and decide whether to reverse the foul call or not. If they don’t reverse it, the team that threw the red flag is charged with a time-out.
With a basic knowledge of football, you can enjoy a Sunday game with your friends and loved ones, cheering and booing when necessary. Since you’re now in the know, the mysteries of the pigskin are at your disposal when the offense makes a false start at 3rd and 10 and punts on 4th for a field goal.
About The Author: Adeline Erwin is a fitness coach and health enthusiast living in Australia. She conducts free fitness classes for seniors at her neighborhood’s community center.