American Football – Playing Environment

American football, rightly known as the game of collision, is a battle of the teams for more points aiming for the win of their respective territories and the field predominantly serves as a way to measure the momentum of this sport. The game is played on large fields similar to that of Rugby and Soccer.

American Football Field Design

The rectangular green field measures 360 feet long by 160 feet wide and has end zones at each end. Based on the NFL rulebook, 30-foot deep scoring end zones, horizontal lines drawn every five yards, with yard lines numbered in multiples of 10 positioned accurately twelve yards in from the side-lines. All lines and field markings are painted in white on green grass. The slingshot goalpost measuring 10 feet which was redesigned and relocated in the late 90’s, is now placed at the back of the end zone as shown in the below layout −

Field Design

The two vertical lines in the centre of field are known as the line of scrimmage, the offensive & defensive teams with 11 players take the possession of the ovoid ball at their line of scrimmage. The line marked with 50 is the centre of the field and that is where the ball is first placed before the start of the match. The players position themselves in their own yard spaces to start the game.

Timing of the Game

American football is played for 1 hour with four 15-minute quarters, divided by a 12- minute break at halftime. With 2-minute breaks at the finish of the first and third quarters, and the teams change ends of the field after every quarter of the game. But at the end of the first and third quarters, the team retaining the ball would be heading into the following quarter. The second half of the game starts with a kick off similar to the beginning of the game in the first quarter.

Both the teams have 40 seconds after the end of a play and they must snap of the ball for the start of the next play. The team which is not successful in snapping the ball gets penalized. The game clock stops at the end of every incomplete passing plays, or a player goes out of boundary, or when a penalty is called. The clock starts again when the ball is re-spotted by the match referee.

In a tie game scenario, 15-minute overtime is given for the play and the team that first scores a point wins. A coin toss is made to determine the ball possession for the overtime.