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Table of Contents
American football (referred to as football in the United States and also known as gridiron) is a sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end.
See the fact file below for more information on Football or alternatively, you can download our 32-page Football worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- American football evolved from two sports that are popular in many parts of the world: soccer and rugby.
- However, it lacked standardized rules until Walter Camp, a rugby player and coach at Yale University, devised them. He developed a modern play style in the 1880s and became the “Father of American Football”.
- In 1875, the touchdown in American football was established after the Harvard University versus McGill University of Montreal match.
- The following year, Harvard, Columbia, and Yale formed a group that formally recognized the rules of American football.
- From 1876-1881, Walter Camp played halfback and served as team captain. Eventually, he was the guiding force on the rules board of the Intercollegiate Football Association.
- He also introduced the eleven-man team, the quarterback position, the scrimmage line, offensive signal-calling, and the scoring scale.
- In 1920, the sport was professionalized with the establishment of the American Professional Football Association (APFA), later called the National Football League.
THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE (NFL)
- As American football grew in popularity, many professional teams were formed, leading to the establishment of APFA, which was replaced by The National Football League in 1922.
- NFL was the first professional football league to successfully establish a nationwide presence. It was established with its first 11 teams:
- Wheeling Stogies, West Buffalo, Pitcairn Quakers, Columbus Panhandles, Moline Universal Tractors, Muncie Flyers, All-Buffalo, Toledo Maroons, Chicago Cardinals, and Cleveland Tigers.
- The Arizona Cardinals (1898) and the Chicago Bears (1920) are the oldest football teams still active in the NFL.
- Out of all the NFL’s teams, the Green Bay Packers have won the most combined NFL championships, with fifteen, winning eleven during the pre-1970 AFL–NFL merger and four during the Super Bowl era.
- The New England Patriots have won the most Super Bowls with seven championships, followed by Pittsburgh Steelers with six, while the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers have five wins.
- Football rules allow each team to have eleven players on the field at a time. Each may substitute players between plays with no restrictions.
- The offense has possession of the ball and advances toward the opposing end zone to score points.
- Offensive American football positions include quarterback (QB), running back (RB), fullback, offensive line, wide receivers, and tight end.
- The defense’s objective is to keep the opposing team from scoring and to win possession of the ball for their team.
- Defensive American football positions include the defensive line, the linebacker, cornerback, and safety.
- Specialist players appear on the field to perform exceptional tasks such as kick-offs, punts, or goals. They include kickers, punters, return specialists, and long snappers.
BASIC RULES IN FOOTBALL
- A typical game of American football consists of two teams of 11 players, one on offense and one on defense, competing for four 15-minute quarters and with one halftime break.
- The football field is 120 yards long (109.7 m) and 53 ½ yards wide (48.9 m). At each end of the field are the goal lines where the offense are tasked to reach and score.
- The aim of the game is to get the ball into the opposing team’s ‘end zone’. Scoring can be through a touchdown (6 points), extra point (1 point), two point conversion (2 points), field goal (3 points), and safety (2 points).
- A team consists of 45 players on the roster, 11 of whom should be on the field at any given time.
- Seven football officials, led by the referee, officiate the game. In amateur leagues, five officials monitor the game.
- The offense must advance the ball at least 10 yards every four plays; otherwise, they will lose possession.
- The defense can also gain possession when the offense fails to score, when the ball is recovered, they miss the field goal, or get tackled in the end zone.
NOTABLE NFL PLAYERS
- One of the highest forms of recognition among football players is inclusion in the NFL Hall of Fame. As of the Class of 2020, there were 346 members.
- The first class of 17 members was enshrined on September 7, 1963 led by Sammy Baugh, Bart Bell, Joe Carr, Earl Clark, etc.
- On August 6, 2022, Tony Boselli, Cliff Branch, LeRoy Butler, Art McNally, Sam Mills, Richard Seymour, Dick Vermeil, and Bryant Young were recognized as the most recent Hall of Famers.
- More recent Hall of famers include Steve Atwater (class 2020) who played 11 seasons, 167 games and won two NFL Superbowls and Cliff Branch (class 2022) who played 14 seasons and 182 games and won three NFL Superbowls.
- In the modern era, other notable players include great quarterbacks Tom Brady (six-time Super Bowl champion), Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees.
- Today, the NFL has 32 teams with two divisions; the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference. Of the 32, only 20% (six teams) have won over four Super Bowls.
- In 2022, the Los Angeles Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI scoring 23-20 touchdowns. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the prior year while the Kansas City Chiefs won the 2020 Super Bowl, before the worldwide COVID19 pandemic began to lockdown countries.
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about Football across 32 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Football which is a sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end.
Worksheet Pack Includes:
- Football Facts
- How Football Is Played
- Gearing Up!
- The Player
- The Turf
- Scoring Big
- Defending the Turf
- NFL Heroes
- NFL Map
- Super Bowl
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Link will appear as Football Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, March 20, 2017
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.