Basics of the Game
Teams advance the ball down the field in a series of set-piece plays called “down’s”. A play ends when the ball-carrier is tackled to the ground, goes out of bounds, or if a forward pass hits the ground.
Teams have to gain at least ten yards in four plays to keep possession and earn a new set of four downs. On each play teams can choose to “run” by handing the ball off to a running back. Alternatively, the quarterback can throw to a receiver.
Players on the offensive team can protect the player with the ball by blocking opposing tacklers. In contrast, defenders can use their hands to push or pull opponents out of the way to get to the ball carrier. The ball carrier is the only person that can actually be tackled to the ground.
Teams score six points for a touchdown, three points for a field goal and after a touchdown can kick for one extra point or pass or run for two extra points.
Four quarters of play each lasting 15 minutes in length.
Eleven players are allowed on the field at any one time for each team.
On match-days each team can select up to 45 players for their squads.
Types of Players
Offensive – Typically smaller, stronger and faster players, including the quarterback.
Defensive – Usually larger and more powerful players.
Special Team Players – The place-kicker and punter specialise in kicking and punting.
Read more on American football in the following articles