Can you help me understand football?

I am a new fan of football and I watch it alot with friends but I do not understand the terms. Can somebody explain it to me like im 5 years old because I am jessica simpson when it comes to sports. Thanks an I will make sure to give 10 points to the best answer. THANKS in advance!

6 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    Where to begin;

    There are 4 quarters, each 15 minutes long, broken down to first and second halfs. The games purpose is to outscore your opponent. A coin toss determines who will receive the ball first. On offence, a team must gain ten yards, and are given four attempts (plays) to do so. This is done by either throwing the ball, or running it. If the offence advances the ball the ten yards required, they are awarded another set of downs (a first down). So, essentially the offence is trying to move the ball over the goal line for a touch down (6points), or close enough to their opponents goal line to attempt a field goal (3points). Conversely, the defences are trying to stop the other team from advancing the ball and scoring, and in turn getting the ball back in to the hands of their offence. Quarterbacks are the offencive generals, calling plays, passing the ball or handing off. Linebackers are their defencive equivalents, calling plays in an effort to disrupt the other teams quarterbacks (offences).

    I hope that this helps you a little,


  • BDZot
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Ok, some of the terms, quick and dirty:

    Quarterback: The "captain" of the offense, the guy that hands the ball off or throws it.

    Backs (Fullback, halfback, running back): A guy that primarily runs the ball, but does catch passes occasionally.

    Offensive line: The guys that protect the quarterback ("blocking")and help the running back by creating openings for him to run thru.

    Defensive line: The guys that are trying to cream the quarterback and running backs.

    Receiver: The guy that catches the throws from the quarterback.

    Tight End: A reciever that can help block for the quarterback...usually he's a BIG guy.

    Snap: the start of a play, when the center (at the middle of the offensive line) gives the ball to the quarterback.

    Interception ("picks"): When the quarterback throws the ball, and someone on the defense catches it instead.

    Fumble: When the person that's carrying the ball drops it. If someone gets the ball before it goes out of bounds, they "recover" it.

    "Strip the ball": when a defensive player knocks the ball out of the offensive player's hands and causes a fumble.

    PAT: The extra point after a touchdown...."Point After Touchdown".

    "Chains" (as in "move the chains"): The 10-yard device (two poles with a chain connecting them) that mark how far the offense have to go for another set of downs.

    "Pocket": The area that the offensive line protects so that the quarterback can see the recievers and throw to them.

    "Line of scrimmage": The yard line on the field that the ball is on before it's snapped.

    "Sack": Tackling the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage.

    Downs: the number of attempts the offense have for either scoring or moving the ball 10 yards. The offense has 4 chances ("downs") to do either...if they don't score but move the ball 10 yards, the count is reset to first down.

    Penalty: Someone does something against the rules and the team is punished by losing yardage. There's different punishments for different infractions, ranging from 5 yards to moving the ball to where the penalty occurs (which can be huge).

    Some penalties:

    False start: When someone on the offense moves after they're "set", but before the ball is snapped.

    Face-mask: A player grabs the grille at the front of an opposing players helmet.

    Roughing the passer: Hitting the quarterback after he's thrown the ball.

    Intentional grounding: The quarterback throws the ball so that nobody can catch it to prevent being sacked....unless he's out of the pocket, which is cool.

    Honestly, this is a wikipedia type question....but that should give you enough terminology that your friends won't think you're completely football-stupid.

  • Ghjjf
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    im going 2 assume ur talking about american football because normal football (soccer) is incredible easy to understand :)

    football is a sport with many seemingly illogical and complicated rules, but the fun thing about it is its all about startaegy.

    the goal of football is to score more points than the other team by scoring touchdowns (when a player runs with the ball into the endzone) or field goals (when the ball is kicked and goes through the goal posts). a touchdown is 6 points while a field goal is 3.

    a game of football is played on a field 100 yards across. a team has to move at least 10 yards within 4 "downs" or else the other team gets the ball. if they manage to move the ball 10 yards, either by running plays or by passing plays, then its declared a "first down" and the team gets 4 more downs to move 10 more yards.

    a game is divided into 2 halves, and each half into 2 quarters. a team gets 3 timeouts during each quarter. a game starts with a coin toss. the team that wins the toss (usually) receives, and the team that lost kicks it off to them. a team might sometimes try an onside kick or a squib kick to gain an advantage (with an onside the kicking team tries to recover the ball after they kick it, while the goal of a squib kick is usually to confuse the receiving team)

    the quarterback is the leader of the offensive team. he has 1 or 2 halfbacks (depending on the play) and 3 receivers (the 2nd halfback is assigned as a 4th reciever on some plays) and 5 offensive linemen to "protect" him. a play starts when both teams line up at the line of scrimmage (the place where the ball was last "downed") the middle lineman waits for the quarterback to call "hike" which is the signal to start the play (snap the ball), then passes the ball to him from underneath. the quarterback may then hand off or toss the ball to one of the halfbacks (a running play), pretend to hand it off (also known as play action, or a fake hand off) or throw it to one of the halfbacks or receivers (passing play). the play ends when the quarterback, receiver, or running back -anyone who is in possession of the ball as a matter of fact- is brought down to the ground by a member of the defensive team, or when the ball hits the ground after an incomplete pass.

    the defensive team is made up of linemen, linebackers, and cover men for the receivers. a defensive team might blitz (try to break through the offensive line to reach the quarterback and bring him down) or concentrate on covering the receivers, depending on what they think the offensive team will try to do.

    usually a team wont completely go with 1 or the other, they will assign some players (usually the linemen) to try to sack (bring down) the QB and some to cover the receivers. the only exception to this is when the offensive team is close to the goal in which they will be more likely to call an all-out blitz.

    a touchdown occurs when a member of the offense runs with the ball into the endzone or receieves a pass while standing in the endzone.after a touchdown there is usually a PAT (point after touchdown) attempt -worth 1 point-which is when the ball is kicked between the goal posts. a team can also try to go for a two point conversion by running or passing the ball into the endzone a second time.

    a fumble happens when a member of the offense who is in full possession of the ball (ie. he didnt simply try to catch a pass and then drop it, for example) and then drops it, usually because he was tackled by a member of the defense (when a member of the defense tackles the ball carrier its called "forcing a fumble) during a fumble, the ball is still in play even if it hits the ground until a member of either team picks it up, or it goes out of bounds.

    an interception (pick) is when the QB passes the ball to a receiver but a member of the defense manages to catch it instead.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    That would take too long to really explain it. One group of 11 guys try to stop an opposing group of 11 guys from advancing the ball towards a goal line. Points are scored by crossing the end of the field (6) or kicking the ball over the post (3). The rules of the game govern how the ball is advanced.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    First every team gets to have the ball. They kick it off to the other team who ever wins the toss. They get the ball and they try running to the other side if they get tackled they stop right there and they have 4 downs a down is a attempt to get a first down or a touch down a first down gives you a whole nother 4 downs when they do get a touch down they get 6 points then after that they for a feild goal which is worth 1 point so it all totals up to be 7 points. Then they got to kick off to the other team and it all happens all over again.

  • 1 decade ago

    I am going to give you a bunch of links with the definitions because it is really far too much info to try to type in here:

    And the bare-bones basics about the game itself and how to play:

    And a couple of freebie football games you can play on the computer (but some are soccer, so just double check what games are really what):

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.