The Rules of Football

Football is a game of skill and physical contact that involves kicking, running with the ball, passing it to a team-mate and taking shots at an opposing goal. It is a popular sport played by millions around the world.

The rules of football are set out in the Laws of the Game, which are published by FIFA and other international governing bodies. They are designed to apply to all levels of the game.

Play begins with the kickoff, when a player puts the ball on a tee and kicks it as far as possible. A team that wins the kickoff receives the ball and runs back to their own end zone.

Players in the offense try to gain as many yards as possible (called “downs”) during each possession. If they do not achieve a goal, the defense gains possession. The team then repeats the process, and so on until a goal is scored or the ball is punted.

A touchdown is scored by crossing the goal line, which is the thick white stripe at the start of the end zone. This score is worth 6 points.

Field goals are scored by kicking the ball through the goal posts. Special teams, which are used to change field positions, are also involved in the scoring of field goals.

Penalties are awarded when a player commits a foul during play. Handling the ball, tripping or pushing an opponent are examples of fouls that may be penalized.