The Basics of Football


In football, the offense tries to gain yards by running and passing the ball down the field. On fourth down, teams may try to make up the yards with a field goal or a punt. The play chosen by the team usually depends on its position on the pitch. If it is closer to the opposition’s goal posts, the team will attempt to kick a field goal. If it is further away from the goal line, the team will opt for a punt.

Since its introduction in the early 19th century, football has gained global recognition and has even been played at the Olympics. It made its debut at the London Games in 1908 and has been played at every Summer Games since, with the exception of the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. Football’s global popularity has prompted the organization FIFA to grow steadily and increase its influence as the global governing body. In 1961, the organization gained its 100th member – Guinea. In the 21st century, over 200 countries are registered FIFA members.

The game is played between two teams of 11 to 18 players, although some variations have fewer players per team. The playing area of a soccer field is clearly defined and the players’ objective is to move the ball to the opponent’s end of the field by crossing the goalposts and over the line. The players will use their bodies to make the ball go where they want. This is known as a kick. In a field of five yards, the ball can travel up to 75 feet.