The Basics of Football


During a game of football, a team has four downs, each of which has a different goal: moving the ball 10 yards forward. If they fail to get to the required 10 yard mark after four downs, they are out of time and turn the ball over to the defense. A fourth down is the most important down, as it’s where a team can make up yards. The offense has three options for a fourth down: run with the ball until it’s tackled, pass the ball downfield, or kick a field goal. On fourth down, teams usually kick a field goal or punt, while on third down, they usually snap the ball and try to move ten yards towards their opponent’s goal line.

A standard adult football game consists of two periods of 45 minutes each. While the game clock does not stop, it does account for time lost due to significant stops, such as a foul. Halftime is typically fifteen minutes, and full-time is when the game ends. During a quartertime break, a team may play penalty kicks or extra-time. If a team loses a quarter, they can still win.

The game’s modern history dates back to the nineteenth century. The game was introduced in England in 1869, and by 1877 there were four English football associations, one from each region, competing for the national championship. The English football code was largely dominated by London clubs, and was restructured in 1877 to include a uniform code of play for all football games. The modern game of football is played in a number of countries, and the IFAB now has representation from many different countries.