Teaching Girls How to Play Football

By Erica Green
Teaching Girls Play Football
Photo Credit: Stock.Xchng

Ladies, have you ever wondered how your significant other can spend so many hours watching a game where a ball is thrown around and opponents knock each other down? Perhaps spending a little time learning the game and understanding the purpose can bring a new appreciation for this sport. It could be the way you get to spend time with your significant other on those Sunday afternoons. Keep reading on to discover some of the basics about the game of football.

Begin with the basics. On the field, each team competes with 11 players. The team with possession of the ball is known as the offense, and the team trying to stop the movement of the ball is the defense. Each team is free to rotate players into the game at the end of a play.

The offense has four plays to achieve a first down and move the ball 10 yards. Otherwise, the other team gets the ball. After the third down, the offense has the option of punting the ball for its fourth down play to achieve better field position and push the opposing team further away from the end zone.

The goal is to score a touchdown by running or passing the ball. A player must cross the goal line and enter the end zone at the end of the field to score a touchdown. A team receives six points per touchdown.

Besides scoring a touchdown, there are other ways a team can acquire points during a football game. After a touchdown is scored a team can kick an extra point for one point or run a play from the two-yard line for two points. If a team is close to the end zone, but has not converted a first down, it has the option of kicking a field goal on fourth down. This play is worth three points. The defense can tackle any member of the offense who has possession of the ball in its own end zone for a safety, which is worth two points.

Each team has 40 seconds between plays. The ball must be snapped before the play clock hits zero or the offense incurs a penalty. Penalties are types of fouls or mistakes and the result is a loss of yards on the offending team. This forces the offense to then gain more yards to achieve a first down, or if a penalty is against a defense, requires less yards for a first down. There are some penalties that award an automatic first down regardless of the amount of yardage lost of gained. The game consists of four 15-minute quarters, with a halftime or break after the second quarter. However, there can be several stoppages during the game for timeouts, injured players, penalties and television. These factors make the game several hours long.

About the Author

Erica Green has been a freelance journalist since 2008. She has contributed to the Atlantic Publishing Company, Texas Sports, Confessions of a Homeowner and more. Green is currently pursuing a degree in Spanish, and she tutors English Language Learner students. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas and is a certified middle school teacher.