What Is Football?


Football is the world’s most popular ball game, played by teams of eleven players on a 120-yard, rectangular field with goal lines on each end. The team with possession of the ball attempts to advance the ball down the field, while the other team tries to stop their advances and take control of the ball.

Each team has a goalkeeper, who is the only player permitted to use their hands or arms during play; other players can use their feet. The ball is usually an oval-shaped inflated ball made of rubber or cowhide.

Players can run or pass the ball, advancing it down the field toward the opponent’s goal. Once the ball is within the opponent’s end zone, it becomes a point and the scoring begins. The team with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.


Each match is officiated by a referee, whose decisions are final. In high-level games, there may also be a fourth official.


Each country has leagues, in which teams compete to earn points during the season. The top teams in a league usually gain promotion to the next level and the bottom teams are relegated.


The standard team uniform includes a jersey and pants with a number on the back. Each team wears shoulder pads, neck rolls, and knee pads to protect them from injuries during the game. Specialized shoes are used to grip the field, which may be natural grass or artificial turf.