If your guy is a football fan, and you are not, it may worthwhile to get to know some football rules. The upside is that you don’t necessarily have to become a football fan. Just being a casual observer and understanding the basics of some football rules could have some positive effects in your relationship. He may notice that you’re making an effort to get to know something he enjoys, and this can generate some positive energy.
Let’s face it ladies, he’s hunkering down on Sundays (at least) from September through January. This means you’re out of the picture for the time being, literally. The following is a cheat sheet to help bridge this gap and will hopefully give you a rudimentary flavor for some football rules.
The team that scores the most points when the game clock runs out wins the game. The teams play on a field, which is 100 yards in length. The field has two end zones, which are located on opposite ends of the field. The object of the game is for each team to move the ball down the field and reach the end zone. Once reached, points are scored. Then it becomes the other team’s chance to move the ball down the field and attempt to do the same thing. There are 11 players on each side playing at one time.
Football Rules on Offense
The team that attempts to move the ball down the field towards the end zone is called the offense. The offense can move the ball down the field generally by two ways. The quarterback (QB) can either throw the ball or hand the ball off to a teammate. Some notable QBs in the NFL, as of the date of this article, are Tom Brady (married to Victoria Secret model Gisele Bundchen) and Tony Romo (was dating Jessica Simpson). If the QB decides to throw the ball to another player called a receiver, the receiver must catch the ball without it hitting the ground first. If the QB opts to hand the ball off to another player called a running back, the running back must run with the ball as far as he can through the defense.
Football Rules on Defense
The team that attempts to stop the offense from moving the ball down the field is called the defense. The defense, with some strategy in mind, tries to predict whether the offense will throw the ball or run with the ball. The players on the defense will attempt to tackle the offensive player who has the ball. Tackling is when a defender stops the player with the ball by coming into contact with that player and forcing him to the ground. When a player is tackled, the referee blows the whistle, and the play is finished.
Set of Downs
In getting a little more technical about football rules, understanding “downs” helps understand how points are eventually scored. The offense has four downs to move the ball 10 yards. The offense begins on first down. If one of the defenders makes a tackle without the ball proceeding past 10 yards, it becomes second down for the offense. If one of the defenders then makes another tackle before the ball proceeds the original 10 yards, it becomes third down for the offense. At this point, the offense has one more opportunity to move the ball the required 10 yards. If they do not, the offense, depending on where they are located on the field, may have to give the ball back to the other team.
If the offense successfully moves the ball the required 10 yards, the offense is awarded a brand new set of “downs” to continue moving the ball toward the end zone. This means the offense begins again on first down and must proceed to move the ball another 10 yards in order to be awarded yet another brand new set of downs, and so on, en route to the end zone to score a touchdown. A touchdown is worth six points.
You may notice yellow posts at the end of each end zone that look like giant wish bones. These are called field goal posts. The offense has the option to have a player, called the kicker, attempt to kick the ball through the uprights of the posts. If the kicker successfully kicks the ball through the uprights, the offense is awarded a field goal. A field goal is worth three points. The kicker is also responsible for kicking the extra point through the uprights after a touchdown is scored. The extra point is worth one point (this is why you often see seven points when a team scores a touchdown).
Football rules encompass all kinds of penalties that can be called against the offense and defense. Rather than going into a lot of technical mumbo jumbo, generally speaking, if a referee calls a penalty against one of the players, the infraction may cost the offending team ball placement in terms of yards.
There are many technical aspects of football, but hopefully, this will provide a very general description of how the game is played. For example, if the game analyst says the offense just ran a play called a “naked bootleg,” feel free to ask your man how this play is run-I’ll bet he’ll tell you.