American Football ( English for “American football “), or even just football , is one of the United States originated ball game and the most popular variant of a number of the Gridiron Football designated sports.
In the course of a game played in four quarters of 15 (or 12) minutes, two teams of eleven players each try to bring the game ball to the opposing end zone or to score a field goal to win points. The team in possession of the ball ( offense , English for “attack”) can achieve a gain in space by throwing ( passing ) and running ( rushing or running ), which ultimately leads to point wins through a touchdown or a field goal achieved . The defending team ( Defense , English for “defense”) tries theTo prevent offense and to get possession of the ball. When a team’s offense comes onto the field, it has four attempts to gain space of ten yards or more. If she manages this, she receives four new attempts, if she does not succeed or if she loses the ball through an interception or a fumble , the right to attack goes to the opponent. If the defense pushes the offense back into its own end zone and tackles the opposing ball carrier there , it can achieve a safety . The winner is the team that has scored the most points at the end of the season.
The basic idea of the game is to gain space. Since a playing field (100 yards) is spatially limited, reaching the end zone is rewarded with points. Points in different numbers can be scored in different ways.
The rules differ depending on the organization. In the amateur field, as well as in the World Federation of International Football (IFAF), the NCAA rules apply almost unchanged . The American Professional League National Football League has partially different rules.
Differences in the regulations of the NFL and the NCAA
Points can be scored when the football by means of a blade or a Passspielzugs ( Run or pass ) through the opposing goal line worn or in the end zone is caught. In a passing game, the player must come up with both legs (NFL rules) or one leg (NCAA rules) in the end zone and control the ball, i.e. that is, safely caught him. In a running move, it is sufficient for the ball to pierce the imaginary goal line or touch a pylon while the player controlling it is inside the field or in the air without touching anything out of bounds. The same applies if a pass is complete and the receiver (catcher) after the catch(Catch) runs into the end zone. This is a touchdown (TD) that counts six points. Touchdowns can even after a interception or fumble be achieved (Defensive touchdown) . Likewise after a kickoff or a punt return and also after a missed field goal. 
After a touchdown, the offensive team has the option, the score by one after Point touchdown (PAT, Eng. Point after touchdown , kicking the ball through the opposing goalposts) by one or by a two-point conversion (Engl. Two – Point transformation , re-carrying or throwing the ball into the opponent’s end zone) by two points. However, the two-point conversion has less chance of success. The PAT is usually from the opposing 2-yard line, in the NFL since the 2015 seasonfrom the 15-yard line, the conversion from the 3-yard line, but they can also start from a distance due to a penalty. 
If a touchdown no longer appears to be reachable, a kick can be attempted through the opposing goal posts ( field goal ), which scores three points if successful. 
In addition, the defending team can achieve a safety (bringing the ball-carrying player to the ground in his own end zone ), which earns the team concerned two points. If the defending team manages to capture the ball and carry it to the opposing end zone during a PAT attempt or the two-point conversion , it also receives two points.
American football is as a sequence of moves (Plays) played. All successive plays of a team without changing the right to attack is called a drive .
At the start of a turn, a team is in possession of the ball and therefore in attack (offense) . She has to try to conquer space through passing or running moves to finally reach the end zone and score points. A turn starts when the ball is snapped (moved).
The offense are each four attempts ( Downs ) available to at least ten yards to achieve space savings and thus to preserve the right of attack for another four attempts (new first down ). If she does not succeed, she has to hand over the ball and the other team is given the right to attack at the point where the ball was carried the farthest (turnover on downs) . For this reason, the fourth attempt is rarely played and instead a punt or field goal attempt is carried out in order not to leave the opponent more space than necessary.
The quarterback (or another offensive player) tries to throw the ball at an offensive player who is following a predetermined pass route . A player is entitled to catch if he is not on the line of scrimmage or occupies one of the two extreme positions on the line of scrimmage. The launcher must be behind the line of scrimmage. The pass is incomplete (incomplete) be caught (catch) or from the Defense intercepted ( interception be).
A pass is incomplete if it hits the ground (due to a bad throw or a defender) or is out of bounds (caught without the receiver having one foot in bounds (in the field), in the NFL even both feet in bounds his). The next attempt starts at the height of the old ball position. After a catch , the player can run as far as he can. If he is brought down or leaves the field, the turn is over. The next down starts at the point where the previous turn was stopped. In a passing game, the offensive linemen maydo not cross the line of scrimmage (downfield) before the pass . If the quarterback is tackled before crossing the line of scrimmage or before throwing a pass, that counts as a sack .
A special variant of the passing game is the lateral pass . The ball is thrown parallel to the line of scrimmage or backwards. Like so-called handoffs , this may be repeated any number of times per turn. Furthermore, the quarterback is allowed to act as a ball carrier and to gain space (scrambling) . The move then counts as a running move.
Running plays are by a transfer of the ball or by simply throwing ( pitch / Lateral – not a forward pass) introduced at a ball carrier. Ball carriers are usually running backs, i.e. halfback and fullback. Any other offense player who is entitled to fish can also be a ball carrier. After receiving the ball, the ball carrier tries to get as far as possible towards the opposing end zone, while his teammates try to block the defenders , i.e. that is, to prevent tackling. The move ends with a tackle, leaving the field or, if the ball carrier makes it to the opposing end zone, with a touchdown.
Kick moves are divided into so-called non-scrimmage kicks and scrimmage kicks .
A non-scrimmage kick is a kick move that is played without a previous snap. After a touchdown, a field goal and at the beginning of each half, a kick move must be made with the kickoff . The kickoff after a point win is always done by the previously successful team. A kickoff is after 10 yards or after contact of the ball by a player of the Receiving teams free. If the kicking team wants the ball back as quickly as possible, the kickoff is as short as possible in order to have a better chance of winning it ( onside kick). At the same time, there is a risk that the opponent will take the ball in a good position. To minimize this risk, the ball can also be shot far back where the receiving team can carry it back.
After a safety , the previously unsuccessful team performed a free kick (also a safety kick ) from their own 20-yard line. This kick can also be conquered by both teams.
If a player of the receiving team catches the ball after a kickoff, punt or free kick by means of a fair catch , the team can perform a fair catch kick in the following turn from the place of the fair catch . An attempt is made to achieve a field goal . The attempt is like a kickoff, i.e. without a previous snap, only without kicking tea . However, this rule does not exist in the NCAA.
A scrimmage kick is a kick move that starts with a snap . This is usually carried out if it is foreseeable after three attempts that the space required for a new first down cannot be achieved. Then, in the fourth attempt, the ball is usually kicked as far as possible towards the opposing end zone by a so-called punt , so that the opponent must take over the right to attack in the worst possible position. A punt can be caught in the field by the opposing team ( receiving team ) and carried as far forward as possible ( punt return ). In contrast to non-scrimmage kicks The turn is over if the kicking team immediately regains possession of the ball after the punt.
If you are close to the opposing goal, you try to score a field goal instead of a point .
The playing time in the USA is four times 15 minutes (quarter) . High school teams and the amateur teams in Europe only play four times twelve minutes. It is a real (net) season. The breaks between the quarters are two minutes and the half-time break is a maximum of 20 minutes. The clock will go off after a time-out , after a kickoff , an incomplete pass when the ball carrier goes out of bounds , points scored, some penalties and a two-minute warning (time-out by the referees, two minutes before the end of each half) ) stopped. If the ball carrier in boundsis stopped, the clock continues to run. A running play is not interrupted by fouls, time-outs or changes in possession. Accordingly, in such cases the clock will only be stopped after the end of the turn. A started turn is always played completely, even if the playing time in the respective quarter has expired. The clock is either restarted when the next turn is released or not until the snap . A move must start in the NFL, in the College ( NCAA )  and in Germany , depending on the situation, 40 seconds after the end of the last turn or 25 seconds after the referee has released the ball, after a timeout after 60 seconds (shown on thePlay clock ). Depending on the game situation, this results in many strategic options towards the end of the game. If the leading team has the ball, they can waste time by running moves and letting the clock run down. The defense can then prevent the elapse of 40 seconds with timeouts. In return, the team just past the end will play passes near the sideline to stop the clock as often as possible. Due to the very frequent stopping of the clock, a football game usually lasts between two and a half (amateurs) and three and a half hours (NFL).
If there is a tie after regular time, an overtime follows . The rules of the NFL and NCAA differ fundamentally from each other. At the NFL, a 10-minute extension is played according to the Sudden Death principle . First the coin toss ( toss ) . The winner decides whether to attack (offense) or defend (defense) or in which direction he wants to play. The right to attack is usually chosen. The kickoff follows as usual . The team that scores the first points in any way wins, unless it is a field goal of the team attacking the first oneDrive , then the other team takes possession of the ball. However, if a team scores a touchdown or safety, it wins immediately and the game is over. If after the end of 10 minutes no points have been scored (or are still tied because, for example, both teams scored a field goal in their first possession of the ball), the game ends in a tie. In playoffs, e.g. B. the play-offs , is also played according to the Sudden Death principle , but here the extension takes 15 minutes. If a decision has not yet been made, overtimes are appended until a decision is reached.
According to the NCAA rules, each team has a drive in overtime , which is started on the opposing 25-yard line. In contrast to sudden death, both teams have the same chances. If there is a tie after an overtime , overtimes will be appended until a decision is made. From the third overtime, a PAT is no longer permitted. After a touchdown , a two-point conversion must therefore be played.