American football is a competitive team sport. In the United States and Canada , one uses the term football and in other parts of the world the sport also called calledgridiron football . The Canadian football has slightly different rules. The object of the game is to score points by advancing the ball in the end zone of the opposing team.Points can be scored by the ball over the goal line of the end zone to carry, by to throw the ball to a teammate in the end zone or by the ball between the goal posts in the end zone to pedal. The winner is the team with the most runs scored.


[hide]*1 game rules

Game Rules[Edit]Edit

Field and players[Edit]Edit

[1][2]The numbers on the field indicate the distance in yards to the nearest end zone.

American football is played on a rectangular field with a length of 120 yd (110 m) and a width of 53 ⅓ yard (49 meters). To the two ends of the field are goal lines, which is 100 yard apart. On each side of the field is an end zone behind the goal lines that 50 yard long.

Across the field to the 5 yard lines drawn, which are numbered every 5 yard. These lines are in the contest used to determine how much gain in ground there by a team per attack attempt is made.

At the end of the end zone are two goal posts , which about 5.6 metres high. Between these two goal posts hangs a lat at 3 metres height from the ground. By the ball from the field between the two goal posts and above the bar to pedal can be scored.

A team consists of 46 players and allows 11 players on the field. these players are further subdivided into three categories: offense (attack), defense (Defense) andspecial teams.

Match Time[Edit]Edit

A match is divided into four time 15 minutes, with a pause between the second and third quarter. The time is not continuous. If the player is tackled in the field, the time.When a player from the field runs with the ball, a ball is not caught or thrown the ball against the ground, stops the time. An average game takes about 2,5 hours. When, at the end of the fourth quarter, tied the score is, a "overtime", in which the contest is extended by 15 minutes. This is called "sudden death". There is a new "coin toss" and the team that scores first points wins the match. When the State still remains the same after 15 minutes with an equal game. In playoffs, which should be a winner, the match extended as long until the winner is known.

Game Play[Edit]Edit

A game begins with a coin toss to determine which team starts with attacks and which team starts with defense. When this is known kicks off the defending team the ball from the 35-yard line (32 meters) to the other side of the field. This is called the kick-off . The attacking team catches the ball and tries as much as possible, to make profit by site with the ball towards the end zone of the opponent to run, until it is stopped by the defending team. From this point start the attack attempts.

The attacking team has always four attempts to at least 10 yard gain in ground in the direction of the opponent. One attempt is called a down . When the attacking team manages 10 yards or more ground to make a profit, the team receives again four attempts. This continues until the attacking team scores or until the defending team intercepted the ball. When the attacking team fails within four downs to make 10 yard gain in ground, then the team loses possession.

When the attacking team loses possession of the ball, the roles are reversed. The group with attacking players leave the field and for them comes the Group of defensive players of the same team on the field. the opposite is true for the opponent that the defensive group of players changes for the attacking group of players.

Scoring points[Edit]Edit


A team can score points in three ways:

  • touchdown is worth 6 points. A touchdown is created when a player with the ball in the end zone of the opponent comes or when he gets thrown the ball in the end zone of a fellow player. After scoring a touchdown may also be kicked. This for 1 extra point, also one can choose this kick into another touchdown for 2 extra points.
  • field goal is worth 3 points. A field goal is made by the ball from the field between the goal posts and above the bar to shoot. A placekicker kicks the ball that is held by aholder. Also is it legal to score a field goal through a drop-kick during the game, but this is not often the high unpredictability of the rump of the ball.
  • safety is worth 2 points. A safety is made by the defending team. This happens when the attacking team is pushed back in their own end zone and when the ball carrier is tackled then or is driven out of the end zone. The defending team can also earn a safety if the attacking team makes certain offences in the own end zone (in the NFL atintentional grounding and in offensive holding and in college football at all offensive violations).


Since there are many different tasks are many players have their own specialization in American football. A team is divided into three groups: Offense (attack), defense (Defense) and special teams.


  • The offensive line consists of five players who have to keep opponents and the emerging need to make space for private players who want to make gain in ground. The offensive line consists of a center, twoguards, two offensive tackles and tight ends one or two.
  • quarterback: The game distributor, actually, the quarterback is the cornerstone of the team. He gets the most media attention, because this is also the most important position. The quarterback Gets the ball from the Center (part of the offensive line). This is called the ' snap '. He then determines what game played by the ball giving off (usually to the halfback) or to a fellow player (a wide receiver or tight end) throw.Some quarterbacks also act themselves as afgeef or no good runningback afgooi: when they have an opportunity, they run themselves with the ball to get some yards to pick up. Do this especially young quarterbacks in the NFL, also in the NCAA does this happen a lot.
  • Running backs consist of a fullback and a halfback or tailback. The halfback specializes in running with the ball. These are usually small, fast, but also very strong to be able to shake off defenders. The halfback can also as the wide receivers catch balls that the quarterback'm to him. The fullback is larger and also much stronger. It is usually his task to block and stop the linebackers so can run the halfback pass. This is also called ' leadblocking ' called. He can also be run with the ball and catch the ball, but he's much less specialized than the halfback here because he is much bigger, wider and stronger.
  • Wide receivers are specialized in catching the ball from the quarterback.
  • Tight ends can both catch the ball if the opponent block.


  • The defensive line: the front line of Defense consists of 3 to 5 players (depending on the strategy of the Defense) posing in front of the offensive line. They are trying to tackle the ball carrier of the opponent or to put pressure on the quarterback. The defensive line consists of defensive endsdefensive tackles and a nose tackle.
  • Linebackers: behind the defensive line are 3 or 4 players who try to tackle the running back, the quarterback to reach the opponent or try to cover receivers.
  • Defensive backs: the last line, also called secondary called, usually consists of 3 or 4 players, but can in certain situations consist of 5.6 or 7 players. They cover the receivers and try to intercept passes.

Special teams[Edit]Edit

In specific situations (for example, a field goal attempt or a kick-off) are certain type of players drafted. There are seven types of players:

  • Placekicker to score a try by starting from the field the ball between the posts and above the bar to shoot.
  • punter kicks the ball out of his hands and let this long distance to the opponent.
  • long snapper throws the ball back over long distance between the legs to a fellow player.
  • holder keeps the ball stuck on the ground, so that a placekicker can kick the ball.
  • point returner catches the ball that the punter of the opponent has kicked out and tries as much as possible, to make gain in ground in the opposite direction.
  • kick returner catches the ball which the placekicker of the opponent has kicked out at a kick-off and tries as much as possible, to make gain in ground in the opposite direction.
  • gunner is trying to tackle a returner kick returner or emerging point.


American football developed in the nineteenth century as a variant on the English rugby. The first official match took place on november 6, 1869 between Rutgers University teams of the neighbors and Princeton University in New BrunswickNew Jersey. Rutgers won that first game with 6-4. In 1892 was the first paid professional hired and in 1920, the American Professional Football Association formed. The first game was played on October 2, 1920 in DaytonOhio between the Triangles and the Columbus Panhandles. The Triangles won convincingly with 14 home – 0.

Professional American football[Edit]Edit

The American professional League- National Football League (NFL)-attracts the vast majority of visitors per match in the United States, but also in the whole world. The average number of visitors per game is 60,000.In comparison, the German Bundesliga (soccer) attracts an average of 40,000-45,000 spectators, making it a close second. Since there are fewer matches be played in NFL than at the other ball sports in the United States is the total number of visitors per season with 17.469.552 visitors (2009-2010 season), however, the lowest of the major professional sports leagues (Major League Baseball drew 73.402.524 visitors (2009 season); the NBA 21.549.238 visitors (season 2008-2009)-see and: List of sports attendance figures.

The competition consists of two conferences, the National Football Conference and American Football Conference. Each Conference has four divisions, each consisting of four teams each. Do so In total 32 teams participated in the fight for the title.

On the calendar are 16 games in the regular season, plus any for a team play-offs. To ensure the playoffs should a team win the Division or at least among the six best teams of the Conference to belong. See alsoNFL

The same system is used for a number of years, namely: the two highest placed teams per Conference are the first play-offronde free (this is called a bye). The remaining four teams battle it out for a place in the next round against these teams. The highest placed team (based on the State of the regular season) always plays against the lowest-seeded team in the playoffs and also has the home advantage. Note: the Division leaders always go as numbers 1 through 4 in the playoffs. The ' wild-card ' teams are then automatically number 5 and 6. It can so happen that a fifth placed team has a better win-loss balance sheet than a Division leader from another division. The other tiebreaker is the balance within the Division. See also NFL

The final final, the Super Bowl, takes place at the beginning of February. This event is viewed by nearly one-third of the u.s. population. Some 6 million people outside the us are looking forward to this final (estimated number).Between the 10 most-watched programs ever in the us are 6 super bowls.

In the us, the coach of a team to the head referee asking for his decision to review on the basis of television pictures. The game is interrupted for one minute. In practice, the coaches usually accept the decisions of the arbitrators.

American football in the Netherlands[Edit]Edit

Already in 1946 two American University teams play an exhibition game in the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium. It was not until 1980 it follows the following impulse, when René Kaim a call for those interested in American football at Speakers ' corner ', a television program that is broadcast 15 minutes before Studio Sport . Through his gymnastics teacher Guus Annokee, first President and founder of the Nederlandse American Football Federatie (NAFF), Kaim is known for the sport. On his call follows the creation of the Amsterdam Rams.

The first game that a Dutch American-football team has ever played was the Amsterdam Rams on Easter Sunday 1981 against Herne Tigers from Germany. In the absence of Dutch opponents was there in 1983 and 1984 in the German Oberliga. Be the Rams In 1984 champion of the German Oberliga West Division. Meanwhile, place in Netherlands various initiatives such as demonstration matches and the arrival of SkyChannel with broadcasts of American races. All this leads to the creation of several Dutch associations such as: The Hague Raiders, Delft Dragons, Rotterdam Trojans, Zwolle Bulldogs and the Utrecht Vikings. During the same period (late 1984) a small group of the Amsterdam Rams and form a new Team: the Amsterdam Crusaders.

All these new teams, including the "old Rams", unite in the Nederlandse American Football Federatie.

In 1985, the first Dutch American football competition starts. For the time being In the highest and only start eight Division football teams, which take against each other for a place in the final of the Dutch championship American football; the "Super Bowl". In this final are the Amsterdam Rams opposite the Amsterdam Crusaders. The first and only Super bowl (the later editions of the final are called Tulip Bowl) was won by the Rams.

In the early days of the sport is growing explosively, some teams in the mid-1980s to more than forty teams in the late 1980s. In addition, could the larger Suburban American-football teams (Amsterdam, Amsterdam Crusaders Hague Raiders, Rams) in very short time further professionalising (hiring American players and coaches) by attracting major sponsors. This interested for the new sports because of the fresh appearance and the (relatively large) attention of tv and national newspapers.

In 1986, the Netherlands organizes eurobowl I final of the European League of champions. In the Olympic Stadium the Amsterdam Rams creditable third. The final of the first Euro bowl is won by Taft Vantaa from Finland. With no less than three full leagues goes the NAFF in 1987. This is also the first competition which starts with a significant portion Dutch referees supplemented by arbitrators of the Soesterberg air base.

In the late 1980s is started with a Youth League, and there is much to flag football looked as an alternative to the youth. Grows especially in the top class quality of the game immensely by the input of us players and coaches.

In the early 1990s one can speak of a Dutch League that among the strongest in Europe. Culminating with the Amsterdam Crusaders, who from 1987 to 1991 to win and know everything in Netherlands in Europe to know the absolute top to penetrate, which in 1991 and 1992 leads to winning the eurobowl.

The growth of the sport in the mid-1990s, is stagnant and there disappear there associations. The novelty is also from there and you will notice to the attention of sponsors for the sport. Attention of the television is no longer granted and with the growth of the youth would also not quite succeed. In addition, the sport in the rest of Europe a true renaissance, with much public and media attention. It is this situation that the Amsterdam Crusaders does decide to Netherlands in 1994 and 1995 to seek their salvation outside and in the European Football League to proceed.

Along with the stagnation of the sport in Netherlands, global major developments take place. So goes the World League of American Football began. This forerunner of the NFL Europa is a professional League set up by the NFL. A competition to promote, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the American football in Europe to serve as a farm league for the NFL (a league, for example, talented players to come to fruition for the great work). These developments have a great influence on the Dutch American football.

At the end of the nineties is American football in the Netherlands back to square one, at least for the practice of it. Only a third of all football teams was left over, there are no more sponsors, there is no more attention from the media and the League has surrendered much of its quality. On the other hand, Netherlands by NFL Europe a professional football team at; the Amsterdam Admirals. In fact, this is a United States team that regularly attracts more than 10,000 spectators at home games; attention that the original Dutch American-football teams now lack. As it transpires, in recent years, it seems like the (marginal) benefit of an American professional team, the possibility of synergy, which only occurs sporadically (rarely a Dutch player or coach in the ranks), not outweighs the disadvantage. There is no support in addition to professional American football more for a thriving, interesting for the media, Dutch amateur competition. In 2007, along with the rest of the NFL Europe, Amsterdam Admirals raised.

In 2001, the American Football Bond Netherlands (AFBN) was established. The AFBN is the official, overarching bond which the Dutch American-football clubs are connected.

American football in Belgium[Edit]Edit


See main article Belgian Football League on this topic.


See Flemish sports history # American Football for the main article on this topic.

In Belgium the BFL Belgian Football League or from two leagues: the FFL or Flemish American Football League and the LFFAB or Ligue francophone de football américain de Belgique. At the end of the season they play the Belgian Bowl. The BFL consists of the following teams:

Club Place Division
Antwerp Diamonds Antwerp FFL
Puurs Titans Puurs FFL
Brussels Black Angels Brussels FFL
Brussels Bulls Brussels FFL
Rachel G Ghent FFL
Izegem Tribes Izegem FFL
Leuven Lions Leuven FFL
Limburg Shotguns Leopoldsburg FFL
Ostend Pirates Oostende FFL
Andenne Bears Andenne LFFAB
Charleroi Cougars Charleroi LFFAB
Fighting Turtles Ottignies-Louvain-La-Neuve LFFAB
Liège Monarches Liège LFFAB
Tournai Phoenix Tournai LFFAB
Brussels Tigers Brussels LFFAB
La Louvère Wolves La Louvière LFFAB

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