American Football Calculators

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What is American Football

American football is a great team game which is played for 1 hour with an oval ball (like a rugby ball). American football is played on a field which is marked out with intervals and called a gridiron (see image below). There are eleven players in each team on the gridiron at any one time with the eleven being changed at regular intervals to support strategic offensive / defensive play. The aim of American Football is for the teams to move the ball towards the oppositions end zone by running with the ball or throwing the ball to a teammate and once there, score a touchdown.

American Football Gridiron image showing the filed on which American football is played in the NFL, CFL and NCAA

How long are American Football Games?

In American football, game time last approximately one hour with the game composed of the following time splits:

  1. Unlike Soccer (football) where gameplay is split into two halves, American football is split into four equal quarters with each quarter lasting 15 minutes.
  2. At specific points chosen by the team, a Time-out may be called to stop play. In NFL, a timeout typically last for 30 seconds though this can increase if the game is televised and the tv channel takes a commercial break. A team can take upto 3 timeouts in one game and they are typically called to support strategic gameplay, but a team cannot call two consecutive timeouts within the same down as this is considered unsportsmanlike behaviour.
  3. At the end of the second quarter (half time point) a 12-minute break occurs to allow the players to take on water / rest etc. as well as providing the coach opportunity to reflect on gameplay, progress, address concerns and motivate his/her team.
  4. If, after 4 quarters play (1 hour) the scores are tied, a 15-minute sudden-death overtime is played.

How are points scored in American Football?

Points can also be scored by completing a touchdown, by kicking the ball through the uprights after a touchdown, by kicking a field goal, or awarded for safety to the defensive team when a team member of the offensive team is tackled with the ball in his own end zone. Two points are awarded for a safety in American Football.

How many Points are scored for a Touchdown in American Football?

A touchdown can be defined as the act of touching the ball to the ground behind and opponents' goal. The player completing the touchdown must be in lawful possession of the ball (within American Football rules) which above, behind or on the opponent's goal line when the ball is declared dead (dead meaning no longer in play). When completed, a touchdown generates six points for the offense team.

How many Points are scored for a PAT in American Football?

A PAT (Point After Touchdown) is a conversion and is scored by kicking the ball through the uprights of the goal by a member of the offence team after successfully securing a touchdown. When successfully a PAT generates one points for the offence team.

How many Points are scored for a Field Goal in American Football?

In American football, a field goal is scored by the team in possession of the ball kicking or drop kicking the ball through the uprights of the opposing team's goal. A filed goal can be scored from anywhere on the filed at any time. When achieved, a successful field goal generates three points.

American Football - A game of strategy

Like most professional team sport games, American Football is strategic though when compared to most team games, it is fair to say there is more strategy in American Football and a lot more depth to gameplay. Unlike most team sports where the majority of player who start the game, remain on the field/pitch until the end, American football allows 11 team member on the filed at any one time but has a team of 47 players to choose from and can change these as required to support strategic offence / defence play and specific nuances of play, approach and execution therein. Positioning team players is therefore one of the biggest challenges of American Football Coaches, the question often asked, in American Football, how do I position my players to win.

American Football Leagues

If you are new to American Football, there are three main league acronyms that you will encounter, NFL, CFL and NCAA, these are:

  1. NFL: National Football League, founded in 1920
  2. CFL: Canadian Football League, founded in 1909
  3. NCAA: National Collegiate Athletic Association, founded in 1906

In addition to the three main American Football Leagues, you may also encounter the following (flags represent country where the league is played).

Professional Outdoor Leagues

Professional arena/indoor leagues

Semi-professional leagues

Developmental leagues

Collegiate and amateur leagues

Women's leagues

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American Football Calculator. This image shows an American Football player playing american football - by iCalculator