With countless hours of school, a part time job, and a stack of homework that is big enough it would make the Statue of Liberty blush, it may be difficult to find time to figure out the rules and terminology that goes along with friday night football. Not to worry, here is a breakdown of everything to make your Friday night festivities even more enjoyable.
Coin Toss- Each team elects four captains for each game, and they meet at the center of the field to flip a coin to determine who gets the choice of receiving, or deferring the ball. If the winner of the toss defers they get the ball first in the second half.
Kickoff- This play starts the game and happens after every score. The kickoff is used for a change of possession between the two teams.
Offensive Drive- A set a plays that the offense takes to either score or lose possession of the ball.
Line of Scrimmage (LOS)-The line that separates the offense and the defense.
First Down- The begining play of an offensive drive. Awarded to a team after they gain ten yards in four or less plays.
Turnover on Downs- The offensive team fails to gain ten yards in four plays, this leads to a change of possession.
Interception- The defensive team catches the offensive team’s pass leading to a change of possession, or a score.
Fumble- When the offensive player has had control of the ball, and then lost control the ball leaving the ball on the field for anyone to grab.
Punt- The offensive team fails to get a first down, they usually send out the “punt team” to punt the ball to the punt returner. This serves as a change of possession, and decides where the next offensive drive starts.
Touchdown- A player with the ball runs into the opposite teams end zone.
Field Goal- The kicker kicks the ball through the upright (not accompanied by a touchdown)
Point After Touchdown (PAT)- The kicker kicks the ball through the upright after a touchdown.
Tackle- The player with the ball is wrapped up and is taken to the ground.
Skill players- Any of the players that consistently have the ball such as the Quarterback, Running Back, and Receiver.
Quarterback- The leader of the offense, throws the ball, and can also run away from the defenders which is known as scrambling.
Running back- The leading rusher on the team. Runs and can also catch the football.
Wide Receiver- The quarterback’s throwing target. They run routes to get open to catch the ball, and can also run the football on a designed receiver run.
Offensive Line- A line the consist of five positions (Tackle, Guard, Center, Guard, Tackle) in the front of the skill players. Their job is to protect the offense and to punish the defense.
Tight End- Usually a taller bigger receiver who can stay and block with the offensive line.
Linebacker- The players behind the defensive line. They call out offensive formations and are always looking to make tackles.
Defensive Line- A line the could consist of three or four linemen that try to plug gaps in the offensive line so the linebackers can run straight to the backfield.
Safety- The last line of defense. This player sits further back from the line of scrimmage and plays the pass and the run.
Cornerback- The player tasked with guarding the receiver. Their job is to make sure the receiver does not catch the ball.