Football Facts

Football Facts
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 information on the rules and history of football.
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  • Derived from the English game of rugby and soccer, American football was started with rules instituted by Walter Camp, player and coach at Yale University.
  • Walter Camp contributed the following changes from Rugby and Soccer to American football: one side retained undisputed possession of the ball, until that side gives up the ball as a result of its own violations; create the line of scrimmage; 11 on a team instead of 15 on the field at one time; created the quarter-back and center positions; created the forward pass; standardized the scoring system, numerical scoring; created the safety, interference, penalties, and the neutral zone; tackling as low as the knee was permitted; a touchdown increased in value to six points and field goals went down to three points in 1912
  • The first game of football was played in 1869 when McGill University played Yale. McGill won the game, 6-4.
  • The NFL or the National Football League, was formed in 1920.
  • The length of the football field is 100 yards. The width of the field is 53 ½ yards.
  • Herman Moore holds the NFL record for the most pass receptions in a single season.
  • In 1967, the first Super Bowl (The winner from the AFC and the NFC), was played.
  • The football hall of fame is located in Canton, Ohio.
  • Most professional football players play College Football first.
  • There are four types of special teams: they are teams which can kick off, return kicks, block and return punts, or punt the ball.

The offensive positions are: two guards (offensive lineman), two tackles ( offensive lineman), and one center (also, an offensive lineman), a quarterback, a running back (the primary ball carrier), the fullback ( a bigger running back, primarily used for blocking), three wide receivers (the primary targets that the quarterback throws to).

There is also a tight end ( a bigger wide receiver used to catch the ball and to block.) Unlike the offensive team, there are no formally defined defensive positions. A defensive player may line up anywhere on his side of the line of scrimmage and perform any legal action.

Most sets used in football, however, include a line composed of defensive ends and defensive tackles and (behind the line) linebackers, cornerbacks, and safeties.

Defensive ends and tackles are collectively called defensive line, while the cornerbacks and safeties are collectively called the secondary, or defensive backs.