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American football

American football players make a blockAmerican football players make a block American football, or “gridiron football”, known simply as “football” in the US and Canada, is played by two opposing teams of 11. The object of the game is to move the oval-shaped ball across the opponent's goal line, thus scoring a touchdown, which is worth six points. A touchdown occurs when a player runs with the ball across the goal line, or passes it to a player who is already in the end zone beyond the goal line. A team has four plays, called downs, to gain 10 yards (9 metres) nearer the opponent’s goal line. If the team succeeds—which it may do on any play—it gains four further plays. A touchdown can be scored from anywhere on the field, and on any down. If the team fails to gain 10 yards or score a touchdown, it yields possession to the opponent. The defending team tries to stop the player with the ball by tackling him—forcing him to the ground. Defenders can gain possession before all four downs are played by intercepting a pass or by knocking the ball from a ball-carrier's grasp (called a fumble) and recovering the dropped ball. 


 A football field. Numbers on the field indicate the... A football field. Numbers on the field indicate the...

Football field

The football field, 120 yards long by 53.33 yards wide (91.4 by 48.8 metres), has horizontal lines marked off every 5 yards (4.57 metres). Inbound lines, or hash marks, are short lines that mark off 1 yard (0.91 m) divisions. A goal line is marked 10 yards (9.14 metres) in from either end line. The area between the goal line and the end line is called the end zone.

Standing in the centre of each end zone are goal posts no more than 20 feet (6.10 metres) in height, 18 feet 6 inches (6 metres) apart, and with a crossbar 10 feet (3.05 metres) from the ground.

The National Football League (NFL) has the highest average attendance of any sports league in the world. Its championship game, the Super Bowl, is among the most-watched club sporting events in the world.

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