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قديم 26-05-2008, 07:21 PM
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تاريخ التسجيل: Mar 2008
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افتراضي American Football

American Football:

American football, known in the United States simply as football,[1] is a competitive team sport known for its physical roughness despite being a highly strategic game. The object of the game is to score points by advancing the pointed-oval shaped ball[2] into the opposing team's end zone. The ball can be advanced by carrying it (a running play) or by throwing it to a teammate (a passing play). Points can be scored in a variety of ways, including carrying the ball over the goal line, throwing the ball to another player past the goal line or kicking it through the goal posts on the opposing side. The winner is the team with the most points when the time expires and the last play ends.
Outside the United States, the sport is referred to as American football (or a translation thereof) to differentiate it from other football codes. In Australia and New Zealand the game is known as Gridiron football, although in the United States the term gridiron refers only to the playing field itself.
Popularity
A Colorado State University player carries the ball as an Air Force Academy player lines up a tackle.While baseball is known as America's "national pastime," football is the most popular American sport and has been since 1972, according to the Gallup Poll. Football's popularity continues to grow; the percentage of Americans who say football is their favorite sport to watch (43%) is higher now than at any other time. Football's American TV viewer ship ratings far surpass those of other sports. The day of the National Football League championship, the Super Bowl, is one of the biggest occasions for social gatherings in the U.S. and is sometimes referred to as an unofficial national holiday. Organization of Football in the United States
Befitting its status as a popular sport, football is played in leagues of different size, age, and quality, in all regions of the country. Organized football is played almost exclusively by men and boys, although a few amateur and semi-professional women's leagues have begun play in recent years.
Professional
The 32-team National Football League (NFL) is currently the only major professional American football league. There are no developmental or minor leagues, but the similar sports Arena football and Canadian football are considered lower-level leagues.
Rules
The object of American football is to score more points than the opposing team within the time limit.
Field and players
The numbers on the field indicate the number of yards to the nearest end zone.
University of Southern California football games at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum attract more than 90,000 fans.American football is played on a field 120 yard→s (109.7 m) long by 160 feet (48.8 m) wide. The longer boundary lines are sidelines, while the shorter boundary lines are end lines. Near each end of the field is a goal line; they are 100 yards (91.4 m) apart. A scoring area called an end zone extends 10 yards (9.1 m) beyond each goal line to each end line.

University/Collegiate
College football is also popular throughout North America. Nearly every college and university has a football team, no matter its size, and plays in its own stadium. The largest, most popular collegiate teams routinely fill stadiums larger than 60,000. Four college football stadiums, The University of Michigan's Michigan Stadium, Penn State's Beaver Stadium, The University of Tennessee's Neyland Stadium and Ohio State's Ohio Stadium, seat more than 100,000 fans and usually sell out. The weekly autumn ritual of college football includes marching bands, cheerleaders, homecoming, parties, and the tailgate party, and forms an important part of the culture in much of smalltown America. Football is generally the major source of revenue to the athletic programs of schools, public and private, in the United States.
High School
Most American high schools field football teams. Schools that are too small to find the minimum number of players play variants of football that specify six or seven players instead of the normal eleven. High school football is popular, especially in the Southern United States, where many schools regularly fill stadiums holding over 10,000 fans, and can afford artificial playing surfaces.
Since high schools in the United States are tied to the town they are situated in, the football team is often a chief source of civic pride, and football heroes are very well-regarded in their communities.
High school teams generally play only against other teams from their state. Still, some private Christian High Schools play for 'national championships' through organizations like the Federated Christian Athletic Association (FCAA).
Youth Leagues
Football is played recreationally by amateur and youth teams (e.g., the American Youth Football and Pop Warner little-league programs). There are also many "semi-pro" teams in leagues where the players are paid to play but at a small enough salary that they generally must also hold a full-time job.

Due to the speed and violence of the sport, many non-organized football games involve variations of the rules to minimize contact. These include touch football and flag football.
Football calendar
Football is an autumn sport. A season typically begins in mid-to-late August and runs through December, into January. The professional playoffs run through January.
It is a long-standing tradition in the United States (though not universally observed) that high school football games are played on Friday night, college games on Saturday, and professional games on Sunday. In the 1970s, the NFL began to schedule one game on Monday night on ABC. In recent years, nationally televised Thursday night college games have become a weekly fixture on ESPN.
Certain fall and winter holidays—most notably Thanksgiving and New Year's Day—have traditional football games associated with them.
Outside the United States
The NFL operated a developmental league, NFL Europa, with teams in five German cities and one in the Netherlands, but this league folded following the 2007 season. The professional Canadian Football League and collegiate Canadian Interuniversity Sport play under Canadian rules. The sport is popular as an amateur activity in Mexico and American Samoa and to a lesser extent in Japan, Europe, Korea, The Bahamas, Australia (Gridiron Australia), Israel and the United Kingdom (BAFL).[citation needed] The International Federation of American Football is the governing body for American football with 45 member associations from North and South America, Europe, Asia and Oceania. The IFAF also oversees the American Football World Cup, which is held every four years. Japan won the first two World Cups, held in 1999 and 2003. Team USA, which had not participated in the previous World Cups, won the title in 2007. Despite this, the game has been slow to catch on in most countries.
Yard lines cross the field every 5 yards, and are numbered from each goal line to the 50-yard line, or midfield (similar to a typical rugby league field). Two rows of lines, known as inbounds lines or hash marks, parallel the side lines near the middle of the field. All plays start with the ball on or between the hash marks.
At the back of each end zone are two goal posts (also called uprights) that are 18.5 feet (5.6 m) apart (24 feet (7.3 m) in high school). The posts are connected by a crossbar 10 feet (305 cm) from the ground.
Each team has 11 players on the field at a time. However, teams may substitute for any or all of their players, if time allows, during the break between plays. As a result, players have very specialized roles, and almost all of the 46 active players on an NFL team will play in any given game. Thus, teams are divided into three separate units: the offense, the defense and the special teams.
Game duration
A standard football game consists of four 15-minute (typically 12 minutes in high-school football) quarters, with a half-time intermission after the second quarter. The clock stops after certain plays; therefore, a game can last considerably longer (often more than three hours in real time), and if a game is broadcast on television, TV timeouts are taken at certain intervals of the game to broadcast commercials outside of game action. If an NFL game is tied after four quarters, the teams play an additional period lasting up to 15 minutes. In an NFL overtime game, the first team that scores wins, even if the other team does not get a possession; this is referred to as sudden death. In a regular-season NFL game, if neither team scores in overtime, the game is a tie. In an NFL playoff game, additional overtime periods are played, as needed, to determine a winner. College overtime rules are more complicated and are described in Overtime (sport).
Advancing the ball
A line of scrimmage.
A quarterback searching for opportunity to throw a pass.
A running back being tackled when he tries to run with the ball.Advancing the ball in American football resembles the six-tackle rule and the play-the-ball in rugby league. The team that takes possession of the ball (the offense) has four attempts, called downs, to advance the ball 10 yards towards their opponent's (the defense's) end zone. When the offense gains 10 yards, it gets a first down, which means the team has another set of four downs to gain yet another 10 yards or score with. If the offense fails to gain a first down (10 yards) after 4 downs, the other team gets possession of the ball.
Except at the beginning of halves and after scores, the ball is always put into play by a snap. Offensive players line up facing defensive players at the line of scrimmage (the position on the field where the play begins). One offensive player, the center, then passes (or "snaps") the ball between his legs to a teammate, usually the quarterback.
Players can then advance the ball in two ways:
By running with the ball, also known as rushing. One ball-carrier can hand the ball to another player or throw backwards to another player. These are known as a handoff and a lateral respectively.
By throwing the ball to a teammate, known as a forward pass or as passing the football. The forward pass is a key factor distinguishing American and Canadian football from other football sports. The offense can throw the ball forward only once on a play, only from behind the line of scrimmage and only before crossing the line of scrimmage. The ball can be thrown, pitched, handed-off, or tossed sideways or backwards at any time.
A down ends, and the ball becomes dead, after any of the following:
The player with the ball is forced to the ground (tackled) or has his forward progress halted by members of the other team (as determined by an official).
A forward pass flies out of bounds or touches the ground before it is caught. This is known as an incomplete pass. The ball is returned to the most recent line of scrimmage for the next down.
The ball or the player with the ball goes beyond the dimensions of the field (out of bounds).
A team scores.
Officials blow a whistle to notify players that the down is over.
Before each down, each team chooses a play, or coordinated movements and actions, that the players should follow on a down. Sometimes, downs themselves are referred to as "plays."



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