The Basics of Football

Football is a team sport in which the object is to maneuver a ball into the opposing team’s goal using any part of the body except the hands and arms. The game is governed by a set of laws, originally codified in England by the Football Association in 1863, and now maintained by IFAB, whose members are the four national associations of the United Kingdom. These laws cover equipment, field of play, conduct of players and settling of results.

During a game of football, the ball is put into play by a snap. An offensive player lines up facing defensive players at the line of scrimmage and passes (or “snaps”) the ball between his legs to another offensive player, called a quarterback. The quarterback may then run with the ball, or hand it to a running teammate; this is known as a handoff. Alternatively, an offensive player can kick the ball into play over the head of a defender, a technique known as punting.

The game is played on a field (pitch) that is typically 110 yards long and 40 yards wide, although smaller fields are used for games of lower tiers and for women, children, and other groups. A match is divided into two halves, with a 15-minute break between them. A standard match lasts 90 minutes, though extra time is sometimes added to account for stoppages in play. A victory is awarded to the side scoring the most goals.