How to Get into American Football

How to Get into American Football: A Friendly Beginner Guide!

Are you a beginner who wants to go into the NFL world? Well, as usual, there is a way to get the information you need to sound like an expert. Here, you can find some of the most popular tips to do that.

So, look at the teams, pick your favorite one and get into it. Become a part of the family of millions around the world. Check the guide up; you won’t regret it!

Everything You Need to Know to Begin: 

It is vital to know the basics before knowing the most complicated stuff about the sport. Here you have all the main things and more;

American Football & Its Beginning 

American Football is not just a simple game; it represents traditions and passion for a whole country.

Its beginning can go back to 1800. The history says that at the beginning it was a little different, just played with a hand-made leather ball and random rules. Eventually, the game changed to become a sport completely, with a predetermined set of rules and guidelines to follow.

This game came from European football traditions, considered a mix between rugby and soccer. The first institution created in the USA was the NFL, back in 1920, which is the organization we know today.

The American Football hasn't always been "the good boy," primarily because it used to be considered a very violent sport. Practiced by many, but prohibited even by governors, waiting almost an entire decade to be allowed.

Its popularity started around 1958, at least its worldwide reputation. Here, a game between a university team facing a superior NFL team gave place to the most famous match in the history of American Football, the Super Bowl.

Since that moment and so many changes through its structure, the American Football became what it is today. Rules, strategies, players, and a whole structure for TV broadcasting, and more – the NFL became the organization for the most watched sport in the USA.

A Team Game and Its Players

American football is slightly complicated for those who are not aware of its technicals. Among the hardest parts to learn, there is the composition of its teams. In every match, two groups formed by 11 members stay at every side of the field, they are called the "defensive & offensive” depending on who has the ball.

While the offensive attacks, the defensive should resist the attack. The first line of player (into defensive) is called LINERS. They must protect the quarterback who has to throw the ball and give the instruction to the rest. 

On the other hand, the offensive’s structure takes form with 11 players, and they have the mission to limit the space that the quarterback has to throw the pass.

The game has four quarters of 15 minutes each, and every team has four times to attack and four to block the attack. Usually, a game takes from 2 up to 3 hours depending on the number of stops and fouls, which make longer matches.

Both teams have to run 40 yards until they get to the score zone. Then, everyone has four tries to run and score, if one fails, the other gets the opportunity to attack.

Some rules make it funnier; the offensive can attack, but with some restrictions. To stop the other player, they are only allowed to use their strength or body tackling; they cannot hold clothes or their masks.

The field may look longer with all those large players sides by side. If you want to see strength, adrenaline, and enjoy what NFL means, you have to choose one side.

Defensive and Offensive 

The offensive has four tries to go forward, with every move they have to advance at least 10 yards. If they use their four attempts without success, they have to go back 10 yards, and the defensive (the other team) gets the chance to attack. If they keep moving after every try, they get ten extra yards to keep moving forward.

The quarterback should materialize the strategy given by the coach to score. The defensive of the attacking team has a first line called LINERS. They have protected the quarterback and the runners, who have to catch the pass trying to score through every yard.

Making it easier for you, the offensive has two chances to attack and two opportunities to defend and vice-versa. It represents two quarters to both teams to defend and attack, but those quarters may get longer after every move due to punishments.

The Super Hero: The Quarterback!

The Quarterback receives coach's strategy which the team has to follow in the moment of attack (offensive time). The Quarterback is the offensive's target; there is where liners & runners appear.

In contrast to the rest of the team members, the Quarterback is commonly thinner or smaller than the protective liners, for example. It's due to he has to be faster to throw the ball or to run to do it more accurately.

Through the history of American Football, there have been many great images in this position like Troy Aikman and Terry Bradshaw, which were among the best. This position demands a lot from the player, more intelligence and more agility than others.

Time to Fight! 

"Time to fight" refers to the playtime. Here it’s possible to see the Battle divided into four quarters viewed from the other side, half-and-half. It means that both teams have two quarters to attack and two more quarters to defend, both may get longer adding free time, fouls, punishments and so on.

However, the playtime is four quarters of fifteen minutes up to sixty minutes, but it usually goes up to 3 hours or more. Overall, however, the play time is just sixty minutes without fouls, stoppages, and the things that pause the clock.

The famous TOUCHDOWN!

This particular moment represents the right combination among quarterback, movements, team, and the right strategy. A squad can also achieve a touchdown as consequence of an offensive’s play, where the quarterback throws the pass, letting the ball fly to the runner’s hands.

The touchdown happens when a runner reaches the scoring zone at the end of one of the field's sides. This is the maximum point giver on an NFL match. Anyone who achieves a touchdown receives up to eight points, which means six points for the touchdown and two more points as extras.

The Super Bowl

Any person who knows anything about American Football or NFL will surely know the Super Bowl, which is the most crucial event throughout the entire season. Millions and millions of people wait until the end of the season to see and watch the two best from both sides of the NFL and the AFL.

When did The Super Bowl start? How come? Who made it? Excellent question, to this spectacular event, the Super Bowl appeared in 1967 as an agreement between the NFL and AFL to name the real winner of the US.

The Super Bowl takes place every February's first Sunday, also called the super Sunday. It says that during the transmission is the days where Americans take more food and drink. The first teams to win was Pitts burg Steelers with six times, and just four teams have never won the Super Bowl.

The name of the game comes from a Lamar Hunts' idea, while his son plays with a ball which title was "super ball." Then the rest is history.

The Football Field 

The field is an essential part of this sport as with any other. Every American football field has 120 yards which are 109 meters approximately. From left to right, the field is divided in 50 yards in half.


This way, every team has 40 yards to go and make a touchdown towards each side depending on their location.

The field is also marked with numbers. These numbers divide the field into yards, every 10 yards you will see a line with its respective yard number. This helps the player and referees where they are.

And of course, it also helps to know how close they are to make a touchdown.


Like any activity or sport, American Football also has its foul and penalty system. It is a necessity to the order among players. Or else, the game won’t have much sense overall.

These punishments are part of the referees' work; they are seven on the match, and one of them is called "the principal." They have to keep the order and stop the game when a foul appears.

Important Punishments to Remember:

  • Mask Hold: refers to a player who takes or holds another's player mask.
  • Offside or Playoff: it is when a player leaves the line before the play starts.
  • Holding: it refers to a player who holds another player by its clothing.
  • Unsportsmanlike Behavior: it is when a player reacts violently against the rules or another player.

These punishments are almost always worth some yards. Depending on which penalty it is, the team may lose from 10 to 20 yards accordingly. This makes it harder to reach a touchdown, or harder to defend it. Sometimes, a fault means losing the whole game – so it is always important to avoid it.

American Football – Becoming a Knowledgeable Fan!

Learning about American football takes time and effort. You’ll have to spend hours watching games, players, and learning about the game to become a real fan. However, if you enjoy the sport – this will be a total piece of cake.

So, are you interested in knowing more about it? Then start watching the games now! With this guide, you’ll know what’s happening!

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