Introduction to Football

Understanding Basic Football Terminology

form of team game played with an oval ball on a field marked out as a gridiron

Form of team game played with an oval ball on a field marked out as a gridiron.

Football, like any other sport, has its own unique language. Understanding this language is crucial to fully appreciate the game. This article will introduce you to some of the most common terms used in football.


A touchdown is the primary method of scoring in football. It occurs when a team carries the ball into the opponent's end zone or catches the ball while in the opponent's end zone. A touchdown is worth six points.

Field Goal

A field goal is another method of scoring in football. It happens when the ball is kicked through the uprights of the goalpost at the opponent's end of the field. A successful field goal is worth three points.


An interception occurs when a defensive player catches a pass intended for an offensive player. This not only stops the offensive team's progress but also gives possession of the ball to the defensive team.

Offensive and Defensive Jargon

Offensive terms include "snap" (the act of starting the play), "handoff" (giving the ball to another player), and "pass" (throwing the ball). Defensive terms include "tackle" (bringing down the ball carrier), "sack" (tackling the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage), and "blitz" (sending extra players to rush the quarterback).

Common Phrases

"Hail Mary" is a long, desperate pass at the end of a half or game, with the hope of scoring a touchdown. A "blitz" is a defensive strategy where more players than usual rush the quarterback. The "Red Zone" refers to the last 20 yards before the end zone. It's called the Red Zone because it's a critical area for both the offense and defense.

The Importance of Communication in Football

Communication in football is vital. Teams use a variety of signals, audibles (change of play at the line of scrimmage), and play-calling to coordinate their actions. Understanding these can provide deeper insight into the strategies used during the game.

By understanding these basic terms and phrases, you'll be able to follow along with the game more easily and gain a deeper appreciation for the strategies and skills involved in football.