American football, often known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end.

American football, often known as gridiron or just “football” in the US and Canada, is a team sport in which two teams of eleven players compete against one another on a field that is rectangular in shape and has goalposts at either end. The offensive, the team in control of the oval-shaped football, tries to move down the field by running with it or passing it, while the defence, the team without the ball, tries to halt the offense’s progress and seize possession of it for themselves. The offence is awarded a new set of four downs to resume the drive if they successfully gain at least 10 yards in four downs or plays. If they fail, they forfeit the ball to the defence. In order to score a touchdown or a field goal, the ball must be advanced into the end zone of the opposing team or kicked past their goal posts. At the conclusion of a game, the team with the most points wins.

Rugby and soccer were the sports from which American football developed in the country. On November 6, 1869, Rutgers and Princeton, two collegiate teams, played the first American football game utilising regulations derived from soccer at the time. The snap, the line of scrimmage, eleven-player teams, and the idea of downs were all introduced by Walter Camp, known as the “Father of American Football,” starting in 1880. Later rule modifications established the neutral zone, made the forward pass permissible, and outlined the football’s dimensions and shape. Although its rules were devised independently from those of Camp, the sport is strongly similar to Canadian football, which emerged concurrently and concurrently with the American game. Canadian football shares the majority of characteristics with American football that set it apart from rugby and soccer. The two competitions are regarded as the main gridiron football subtypes.

According to the number of people who watch broadcasts of sports events, American football is the most watched sport in the country. Football is played at several different levels, with professional, college, and high school football being the most popular. In the United States, 70,000 collegiate players and almost 1.1 million high school athletes participate in the sport each year as of 2012. With the greatest average attendance of any professional sports league in the world, the National Football League is the most well-known American professional football league. The Super Bowl, its championship game, is one of the most popular club sporting events in the world. The league is the most valuable sports league in the world, with yearly revenues of almost $15 billion USD. Although there are other professional leagues around the world, the sport does not have the same level of global acclaim as American sports like baseball or basketball.

Emphases and names:

American football is referred to as “football” in the United States. In the regulation for the 1876 college football season, when the sport first moved from soccer-style rules to rugby-style rules, the term “football” was formally introduced. The sport could have easily been termed “rugby” at this stage, but Harvard, one of the main proponents of the rugby-style game, made a compromise and decided against calling it that. In English-speaking nations like the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia, where other varieties of football are prevalent, the words “gridiron” or “American football” are preferred.

Early History:

Rugby and soccer were the ancestors of American football. Similar to American football, rugby pits two opposing teams against one another for possession of a ball that can be used to score points by being kicked through a set of goalposts or running into the goal area of the opposition.

American Football

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On November 6, 1869, Rutgers and Princeton, two collegiate teams, competed in what is regarded as the first American football game. Each team had 25 men, and they played with a round ball that was impossible to pick up or carry. However, it might be advanced into the opposing goal by being kicked or batted with the feet, hands, head, or sides. The score was 6-4 for Rutgers. For a number of years, collegiate games were played utilising the host school’s regulations. On October 19, 1873, representatives from Yale, Columbia, Princeton, and Rutgers gathered to develop a uniform set of guidelines for use by all universities.

Teams had a maximum of 20 players, and the fields measured 400 by 250 feet (122 by 76 metres). Harvard chose not to participate in the conference because they preferred a sport that permitted running with the ball, like rugby. After using both Canadian and American rules to compete against McGill University, the Harvard players decided they preferred the Canadian way of playing, which included only 11 players on the field, running the ball without having to dodge an opponent’s pursuit, the forward pass, tackling, and using an oblong ball rather than a round one.

Two athletes from Princeton watched an 1875 rugby-style game between Harvard and Yale and were impressed. The Professional Football Researchers Association compared their success in bringing the game to Princeton to “selling refrigerators to Eskimos.” Then, Princeton, Harvard, Yale, and Columbia decided to play college games using modified rugby union rules.

The Intercollegiate Football Association was established by these colleges, however Yale didn’t join until 1879. The “Father of American Football,” Yale athlete Walter Camp, changed the rules in 1880, reducing the number of players on each team from 15 to 11, and introducing the snap in place of the erratic and chaotic scrum. Even though the match between Rutgers and Princeton is frequently cited as the start of American football, the Oneida Football Club was founded in 1862 and is currently the country’s oldest football organisation. From 1862 through 1865, the squad, which was made up of alumni from Boston’s prestigious preparatory schools, competed.

Professional Era:

Pudge Heffelfinger was paid $500 (which would be $15,080 in 2021) to participate in a game for the Allegheny Athletic Association versus the Pittsburgh Athletic Club on November 12, 1892. Although many athletic clubs in the 1880s provided indirect benefits like aiding players in finding employment, awarding trophies or watches that players could pawn for cash, or paying double in expense money, this is the first instance of an American football player being paid to take part in a game. Despite these added advantages, the game at the time was strictly amateur, and paying participants directly was discouraged, if not downright forbidden.

Professional play spread throughout time, along with increased wages, erratic player movement, and the unlawful payment of college players who were still enrolled in classes. These issues were addressed by the formation of the National Football League (NFL), a league of professional teams, formerly known as the American Professional Football Association in 1920. The declared objectives of this new league included ending player bidding wars, prohibiting the use of college players, and doing away with the practise of paying players to switch teams. The NFL had made a name for itself as the top professional football league in America by 1922.

Bowl games after the season have become a tradition in college football. A bowl game slot was awarded for winning a conference, and each bowl game was connected to a certain conference. The two top-ranked teams would typically be committed to the bowl games of their respective conferences, so while this arrangement was profitable, it tended to preclude them from playing in a true national championship game. Since 1992, many methods have been employed to select the college football national champion. The Bowl Coalition, which operated from 1992 to 1994, was the first. The Bowl Alliance took its place in 1995, and the Bowl Championship Series took its place in 1997.

Positions and teams:

Two teams of 11 players each compete in a football game. Having more players on the field while playing results in a penalty. The previous system, which had strict substitution regulations, was replaced with the “platoon” system, which allows teams to substitute any number of players between downs. As a result, teams now use specialised offensive, defensive, and special teams units.

A uniform number between 1 and 99 must be used to identify each player in a football game. Any deviations must be granted by the commissioner. NFL teams are required to number their players according to a league-approved numbering scheme. Teams in the NCAA and NFHS are “highly advised” to number their offensive players in accordance with a recommended system put forward by the league.

Despite the fact that men play football almost exclusively, women are allowed to participate in high school, college, and professional football. Women have participated in high school and college football games but have never played in the NFL. In Pop Warner Little Scholars youth football in 2018, 1,100 of the 225,000 participants were female. According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, roughly 11% of the 5.5 million Americans who report playing tackle football are female. Women can work as officials, and in 2015, Sarah Thomas became the first female official in the NFL.

Unit for Special Teams:

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All kicking plays are under the purview of the special teams section. Field goal attempts, punts, and kickoffs are all executed by the team with the ball while the special teams unit of the opposing team attempts to block or return them.

The placekicker (K or PK), holder (H), and long snapper are the three positions that are unique to the field goal and PAT (point-after-touchdown) unit (LS). The holder will catch the football and set it up for the placekicker by receiving it from the long snapper. Since the ball is kicked from a tee, kickoffs often don’t have a holder. However, in some circumstances, such as when the wind prevents the ball from staying upright on the tee, a holder may be utilised. The kickoff returner is the member of the receiving team who catches the ball (KR).

The punter (P), long snapper, upback, and gunner are the positions specifically designed for punt plays. The punter receives the football immediately from the long snapper, who kicks it to the ground before dropping and kicking it. To tackle the punt returner (PR), who is the guy who catches the punt, gunners line up split outside the line and sprint down the field. Upbacks position themselves a short distance beyond the line of scrimmage to offer the punter greater protection.

Leagues and tournaments:

The two well-known football leagues in the United States are the National Football League (NFL) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Since its establishment in 1920, the National Football League has grown to be the biggest and most well-liked sport in the country. With an average attendance of 66,960 during the 2011 NFL season, the NFL has the greatest average attendance of any sporting league in the world. One of the greatest club sports events in the world is the NFL championship game, or Super Bowl. The National Football Conference (NFC) and American Football Conference (AFC) champions compete in it, and the winner receives the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

In the United States, college football comes in third place behind professional football and baseball. Division I, Division II, and Division III are the three divisions within the NCAA, the largest collegiate organisation. The Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and the Football Championship Subdivision are the additional two divisions in Division I football (FCS). Every level of play has a playoff system that is sanctioned by the NCAA, and while Division I-FBS formerly used a variety of polls and rating systems to choose its winner, the subdivision switched to a four-team playoff format in 2014.

According to a survey by the National Federation of State High School Associations, high school football is the most popular sport among boys in the United States. Over 1.1 million boys participated in the sport between 2007 and 2008. Boys and girls that participate in youth football do so in dramatic contrast. For girls, there is only one youth football league in the US: the GFL. The NFHS, which has member associations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, is the biggest organisation for high school football. The main youth football association is Pop Warner Little Scholars, and USA Football is the regulating authority for youth and amateur football.

Popularity and Cultural impact (United States):

Another important aspect of American culture is American football. The day of the Super Bowl is regarded as a de facto national holiday, and the sport has been compared to a religion in some states, including Texas. Other holidays and football are connected; the Rose Bowl and other college football bowl games typically take place on New Year’s Day. The bowl games are, however, shifted to a different date if New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday in order to avoid conflicting with the typical NFL Sunday schedule. Thanksgiving football is a popular high school, collegiate, and professional sport in America. Americans are passionate about football, according to a piece by Steve Deace in USA Today “because it perfectly captures the spirit of American exceptionalism. Merit is not punished; it is rewarded. Not feminised, but praised is masculinity. To be effective, the team must come together as a melting pot of individuals with different values and backgrounds “. Football culture encourages implicit rules like putting one’s body through pain and making sacrifices for the benefit of the team.

A nationwide debate about the sport’s safety has also flared up in American popular culture. Will Smith played Dr. Bennet Omalu, a neuropathologist who was the first to identify and report evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in the 2015 movie Concussion, which sought to raise awareness about the safety of the sport, particularly in the NFL.