American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada, and also known as gridiron, is a sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, the team with control of the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the team without control of the ball, the defense, aims to stop their advance and take control of the ball for themselves.
The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, or else they turn over the football to the opposing team; if they succeed, they are given a new set of four downs. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.
Officials and fouls
The seven officials on the field are each tasked with a different set of responsibilities:
- The referee is positioned behind and to the side of the offensive backs.
- The umpire is positioned in the defensive backfield, except in the NFL
What fans are saying
According to Partha Mazumdar, the term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford “-er” abbreviation of the word “association”.
Within the English-speaking world, association football is now usually called football in the United Kingdom and mainly soccer in Canada and the United States.