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Football 101

A Winning Tradition

Since 1932, the Washington Redskins have had a long and successful history in the NFL. During the Joe Gibbs era, the team won three Super Bowls! Today, Owner Daniel M. Snyder is committed to bringing another Vince Lombardi Trophy to the franchise with the help of General Manager Bruce Allen, Head Coach Mike Shanahan and the entire Redskins team. Will this be the year? You’ll have to wait and see. Go, Redskins!

Breaking it Down

Football is a team sport that combines strategy with speed, accuracy and brute strength. The object of the game is to advance the ball into the other team’s end zone by running, passing or kicking it through the opponent’s goal posts. With 11 players on a side, it’s an offensive and defensive battle for 60 minutes. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Scoring Points

Touchdown

Six points awarded to a team that crosses their opponent’s goal line with the football.

Field Goal

A three-point play made by place kicking (or drop kicking) the ball between the opponent's goalposts above the crossbar.

Extra Point

After a touchdown, the scoring team is allowed to add another point by kicking the ball through the uprights of the goalpost.

Two-point conversion

Instead of kicking an extra point, a team tries to add two bonus points by running or completing a pass in the end zone from the opponent’s two-yard line.

Safety

A play in which a member of the offensive team downs the ball in his own end zone, resulting in the defensive team being awarded two points.

scoring points

Defensive Action

Tackle

To bring down an offensive player who has the ball.

Blitz

A direct attack on the passer, by one or more players who usually stay behind the line of scrimmage, to try to prevent a pass.

Fumble

A ball that is dropped or mishandled.

Interception

A pass that is caught by a defensive player, giving his team possession of the ball.

defensive action

Game Penalties

Face Mask

A foul for grabbing an opponent's face mask—the bars attached to a football helmet that cover and protects a player’s face.

Pass Interference

An illegal play where the defender pushes, holds or grabs the offensive opponent while the ball is in the air.

Holding

A penalty enforced when one player keeps another from advancing by grabbing him and holding him back.

game penalties

Types of Plays

Punt

The offensive team gives up the ball by kicking it down the field to the opposing team.

Play Action

A play where a quarterback fakes a handoff to the running back, and then throws the ball downfield to a receiver.

Hail Mary

A long, high pass into the end zone, in an effort to score a touchdown before time runs out in the half or game.

types of plays

And the Rest

Officials

Referees in striped shirts who enforces the rules at a football game.

Vince Lombardi Trophy

The trophy awarded to each year's Super Bowl winner.

Huddle

To gather together behind the line of scrimmage in order to plan the next play.

Stiff Arm

To push an opponent away with the arm stretched fully out and the hand upturned and stiff.

Red Zone

When a team is inside the 20-yard line of the opponent’s side on the field.

and the rest