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How to Survive 	at UF

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Football Defined for the Lady Gator

Basics of Beginning the Game

The captains from each team and the referee do a coin toss. Whoever wins the coin toss gets to choose whether they want to kick or be the receiving team for the kick.

The game starts here, where one team kicks the ball to the offensive team, and the offensive team is supposed to catch the ball, and then try to run it back towards their endzone. This can either end in a tackle or a touchdown.

*FACT: if the ball is kicked out of bounds, the ball is immediately handed to the opposing team where the opposing teams play will begin where the ball went out of bounds.

If tackled, the place on the field where the player was tackled at establishes the line of scrimmage.

Once the starting point is established, the offensive team will try to run the ball to the endzone.

What the Heck is a Down?

One of the hardest parts of understanding football seems to be understanding the downs. You can think of downs as plays. Each play requires the quarterback of the offensive team to pass the ball to another player on his team who then tries to get it to their endzone for a touchdown. If the offensive team doesn’t make it ten yards within the four downs allowed, the ball is handed over to the other team (FACT: the team can always make more than ten yards). What often times seems to happen if the team hasn’t made it to ten yards by the third down, then the team can choose to punt the ball to gain yardage, pushing the opposing team back.

If the team does make it in four yards (called getting “the first down”) then they get another four downs to make it another ten yards, and so on until they get a touchdown.

The very first play is called first-and-ten. The first correspondents with which out of the four downs the play is. The ten corresponds with how many yards they have to get till they get a new set of downs.

The Players

The rules say that there can only be 11 players on the field at a time, but teams usually have many more players than 11. The reasoning behind this is so the coach can switch out players depending on the circumstances of the game. There are two different “sections” of a team: the offense and defense.


  • Quarterback: seen as the team leader, he makes the plays and is responsible for throwing or handing the ball off to another player during a play.
  • Center: this is the guy who is crouched in front of the quarterback at the beginning of the play. He snaps the ball back between his legs to the quarterback.
  • Running Back: the player who is handed the ball if the quarterback calls for a running play or can also be used for blocking or receiving passes.
  • Guards: these are the guys flanking left and right, the center. When the ball is snapped back to the quarterback by the center, it is the job of these guys to block the opposing team from stopping the ball.
  • Tackles: They flank on the right and left of the guards, outside the formation. They not only tackle but help the guards at the beginning of the play.
  • Tight End: can be either a reciever or blocker depending on how the quarterback calls the play. They are placed on either end of the offensive line.
  • Wide Recievers: these are usually the fastest runners. They have to run down the center and stay open in case the quarterback tries to pass the ball their way.


  • Ends: usually “the big guys” they sit on the outside of the defensive line to try and tackle the quarterback before he can make a pass.
  • Defense Tackle or Guards: these guys sit opposite of the center of the offensive team. Their job is to also stop the quarterback before he can make a play.
  • Cornerback (defensive back): these guys are intended to stop the wide recievers from catching a pass. If they’re lucky, they will intercept a ball by knocking it off of its path or catch the ball when it was intended for the wide reciever on the offensive team.
  • Safety (defensive back): stand far back from the line of scrimmage. They are usually the last players the offensive team has to get through to make a touchdown.


There are four ways to gain points:

  • Touchdown: when a team gets the ball in their endzone. Worth 6 points.
  • Kicking it through the goal posts: this happens after a touchdown. The team that made the touchdown gets a chance to kick the ball between the goal posts. Worth 1 point.
  • Field Goal: When the offensive teams kicker kicks the ball between the goal posts (not after a touchdown) of the opponents endzone. Worth 3 points.
  • Safety: when a defensive player tackles an offensive player who has posession of the ball in his own endzone. Worth 2 points and results in posession of the ball of the defensive team.

Extra Facts

  • Regulation football field are 100yards long plus an extra 10 yards for the endzones.
  • The game is divided up into two halves, each half having two quarters that are usually 15minutes long.
  • There are ways that will extended the clock:
    -There is a two minute warning at the end of each half that stops the clock allowing for a free time out for each team.
    -usually teams are allowed three time outs per half
    -if the teams are tied at the end of the game, this will push the game into overtime
    -running the ball out of bounds, scoring, and multiple stops for penalties will stop the clock

Football Topics

*This information came from about.com

Basics of the Game

Created by youtube member: expertvillage. If you want to see this video in a larger format, you can visit youtube.com

Offensive Line Positions

Created by youtube member: expertvillage. If you want to see this video in a larger format, you can visit youtube.com