It’s pretty obvious that I’m not a tomboy in the slightest. Growing up in a family full of boys who were also players and coaches of many different sports, I turned out pretty girly. However, one thing I took away from the coaches in my family is the knowledge of sports. Being a cheerleader I had to at least know offense and defense (if you don’t know the difference,
how is that possible? keep reading), but for me those are just the very, very basics. Although we’re already well into football season, it’s never too late to learn some working knowledge about the game. Maybe it’ll impress your dad, boyfriend or boss if you know a little something about this precious, sacred game. So, if you’re tired of going to football games and having no idea what’s going on then today’s post is for you! I’m going to share my girl’s guide to football. Huddle up, girlies!
- Offense is when your team has the ball. That’s when your quarterback is on the field (like Baker Mayfield or Dak Prescott). Defense is when your team doesn’t have the ball. Special teams are on the field during extra points, field goals, punts and kick offs.
- The field is 100 yards with the center of the field being the 50 yard line.
- The end of the field with the names of the teams is the end zone. The yellow posts in the end zones are the goal posts. You kick field goals through those (hopefully, you could miss).
- A touchdown equals 6 points. After you score a touchdown, you can either kick a field goal which equals 1 point, or run another play to get the ball in the end zone, which equals 2 points.
- The line of scrimmage is where they put the ball before each play. It changes depending on if your offense moves forward (yay) or backward (oops).
- Getting a first down means your offense went 10 yards to the first down line. You have four downs to get another first down/go at least 10 more yards. Most times your team will punt the football on fourth down.
- Penalties are so involved, so know this–don’t complain about every penalty. That’s annoying. Sometimes your team messes up.
- On offense there is an offensive line, which are a bunch of players that crouch on the line of scrimmage. They are protecting the quarterback.
- The quarterback lines up behind the center of the line. Often he will have a running back next to him (Samaje Perine or Ezekiel Elliot) who runs the ball when it is handed to him.
- Spread out across the field are other players that can catch the ball and then run it.
- On defense there is a defensive line. They are lined up the same way as the offensive line, just on the other side of the ball and instead of protecting the quarterback they are trying to tackle the other team’s quarterback.
- Other defensive players are trying to tackle the running back or prevent the players who catch passes from catching the ball.
- Sacking the quarterback means he was tackled behind the line of scrimmage.
- A turnover is when the ball changes possession (the defense becomes the offense or vice versa). The quarterback can throw an interception, which means the defense caught the ball instead of the offense. Or there can be a fumble, which means the ball came loose from a player and he drops the ball and the other team grabs it. There are a lot of ways to fumble, so that’s pretty general.
- You kick off the ball from a tee after you score any points, at the beginning of the game and after half time.
- You punt the ball (the kicker drop kicks the ball) on fourth down.
- Targeting has a very involved definition, but basically it’s a penalty that can get a player ejected from the game. If he leads with the crown of the head, targets the head or neck with certain body parts and does so to a defenseless player, he can be called for targeting.
- A ball is considered caught as long as the player has control of the ball and gets one foot in bounds before going out of bounds.
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Holly Hoehner has her bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Oklahoma. She considers herself more of a Russell Westbrook than a Kevin Durant and enjoys learning about and participating in the digital age, blogging about anything that comes to her mind and creating witty Instagram captions. Holly was raised a die-hard Sooner fan in Edmond, OK.