what are the rules of american football

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title, i’ve lived in america all my life and i still don’t understand the rules

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5 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

There are thousands of rules.

https://operations.nfl.com/the-rules/nfl-rulebook/

In 5 rules?

You have 4 chances to get the ball 10 yards.

You can only throw it forward once per chance.

You have to keep the ball in your hands.

You get 6 points if you get it to the end.

You can kick it from anywhere for 3 points.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The goal is to get the football as far down the field as possible towards the other team’s “end zone.” If you are able to get the ball there, you get 6 points, but if not, you can attempt to kick the ball through the yellow uprights for 3 points.

Moving the ball down the field can be done either by running with the ball, or by passing it forward to another player on your team. These are called plays, and you must move forward at least 10 yards every 4 plays, otherwise the other team gets the ball.

There are obviously a lot more rules and intricacies, and each position typically has a specific job. For example, the largest people on the team typically form the offensive or defensive line. The offensive line’s job is to block the defensive line from breaking through and tackling the ball carrier before they can move it forward. The receivers need to be fast so that they can get into open areas to catch passes. The quarterback is the person who starts each play with the ball and makes most (like 99%) of the passes.

Anonymous 0 Comments

This is probably not a great question for ELI5 because it asks for an overview of a medium-complex topic.

But if you’re OK with just the broadest strokes, the goal of American/gridiron football is to move the ball towards your opponents goal. In contrast to other sports like basketball or association football (“soccer”), this is done in short bursts rather than continuous play. Each “down,” the team with official possession of the ball picks it up and tries to move it towards their opponent’s goal. Their opponent tries to stop them quite directly – by pushing, tackling, and otherwise getting in the way. If the player carrying the ball is brought to the ground or goes out of bounds, the down ends. If four downs go by without the advancing team making significant progress (defined as moving the ball at least 10 yards from where it started when the first down began), they must give the ball to the other team.

Teams score 6 points by carrying the ball to the end of the field or 3 points by kicking it there. They may also kick the ball to move it down the field, though this gives possession to the opposing team so is only done when they are at risk of turning the ball over in even worse position.

Originally, American football was focused on plays where people ran around carrying the ball, now called “running plays.” Modern football also involves throwing the ball through the air in “passing plays.” This is a riskier strategy, because you can get well past the opposing defense by passing, but you make no progress if ball doesn’t make it to the receiver.

There’s a lot more happening on the field, much of which is codified in the rules, but you can also read it as a natural outgrowth of these basic rules above. If you want to pass the ball, it makes sense to immediately give the ball to your best passer (quarterback) and assign some of your biggest guys (linemen) to protect him. Then you send your fastest guy (wide receiver) down the field and pass him the ball. Meanwhile, the defense is sending its meanest guys (also linemen) after the passer while assigning others (cornerbacks and linebackers) to stay with the receiver and holding someone back (safety) in case they make the catch.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The 2023 NFL Rules book is 85 pages long. So take that into consideration in comparison to the posts here. As in many similar questions on Reddit: read the rules in Wikipedia and you will get better information, faster.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Like basketball, you gotta get the ball to your scoring zone, by running with it or throwing it to someone else. but the other team is allowed to tackle you to stop you. However, if they stop you, you don’t immediately lose the ball. You get 4 tries, and these reset if you are able to move the ball far enough (10 yards). 

 If you get the ball all the way to the end, you get 6 points, and then you get a chance to kick the ball in the field goal for another point. If you don’t think you can get it all the way to the end, you can just kick the ball in the field goal for 3 points. Those are the 3 most common types of scoring. 

The ball is also commonly kicked on your last try instead of trying to run/throw it, if you are really far from your end, just to make it so the other team isn’t near their end when they get the ball.