Game Guide

Football, also known as American Football, is a sport played between two teams with 11 players on the field per team.

The object of the game is to move the football down the field towards and within the opposing team's designated goal posts to score points. The team scoring the most points is declared the winner at the end of four 15-minute quarters.

Football Games Glossary


The football team trying to score.


The football team trying to stop any scoring. 

Football Glossary

Football Games Glossary A

Artificial Turf/Astroturf
slightly padded surface covered in a synthetic type of grass that resembles carpet typically used in places known for particularly harsh weather or indoor stadiums.
Assistant Coach
coach in charge of a specific part of the team according to the game plan set forth by the head coach.
play called by the quarterback changing the play from the one called in the huddle.

Football Games Glossary B

term for someone who plays in the backfield.
the portion of the field behind the line of scrimmage.
Ball Carrier
the player who advances the ball by running.
occurs when a player maneuvers past an opposing blocker/tackler. Smooth move!
football games glossary term for full facemask, typically worn by linemen. A must-have piece of equipment for this contact sport.
occurs when a game is set to be televised in the teams' market but not enough tickets have been sold, therefore the game is unavailable locally.
Blind Side
the left side of a right-handed quarterback or vice-versa for right side where the blitz or a tackler cannot be seen.
football jargon for the defense rushing more players to reach the quarterback successfully before he can pass, thereby resulting in a sack.
obstructing the way of a defensive player, tactic used by an offensive player.
football lingo for a long pass. If completed, 'tis a beautiful sight to see!
the play where the quarterback fakes the handoff right and rolls left.
Bump and Run
the act of a defensive player hitting the receiver at the line of scrimmage to obstruct the receiver's route. May result in shaking the quarterback's timing.
route run by a receiver in which they run straight down the field and abruptly turn back toward the quarterback.

Football Games Glossary C

Call a Play
football term for executing a pre-planned play.
the player in the middle of the offensive line who is responsible for hiking the ball to the quarterback.
Chain Gang
the officials responsible for moving the first down and line of scrimmage markers on the sidelines.
Check Off
another term for an audible.
Chop Block
blocking another player by hitting him or her below the knees. This is an especially dangerous block that is illegal and many times leads to injury.
blocking an opponent from behind.
football jargon for a tackle where a defender hits an opponent high on the body in order to bring them down. Do I hear an Ouch!
Coffin Corner
football games glossary term for the corners of the football field between the end zone and 5-yard line at each end of the field. A punter will attempt to aim the ball out of bounds near a coffin corner to stop the opposing team from returning the ball that in turn will pin the punter's team near their goal line.
Coin Toss
teams meet in the middle of the field prior to the start of the game to determine who receives the ball to start the game.
a successful pass that is caught by a receiver.
Controlling the Game
strategy for using available plays/players based on the time clock.
a defensive player who primarily guards wide receivers.
the act of guarding an offensive player trying to receive a pass.
different defensive formations meant to stop a passing play.
football jargon for a route run by receivers that eventually turns back to the quarterback in an arc.
a switching of directions.

Football Games Glossary D

Dead Ball
a ball is considered dead when it is no longer playable.
Defensive Back
another term for cornerback.
Defensive End
the player on either end of the defensive line.
Defensive Holding
occurs when a defender physically holds an offensive player, normally by grabbing the player's jersey.
Defensive Line
three or players lined up at the line of scrimmage on the defensive side.
Defensive Tackle
the one or two players inside the four-man defensive line. Their duties are to stop the run and assist others to pressure the quarterback.
Delay of Game
occurs when the play clock has expired.
Dime Back
football jargon for the sixth corner back on the field in a dime defensive scheme.
Dime Coverage/Package
implementation of a scheme used primarily to stop the pass where six cornerbacks are used.
Double Coverage
two players on defense assigned to cover one offensive player.
one play, measured from the time the ball is put into play and lasting until the ball is ruled down.
Down and In
a receiver route where a wide receiver will run down the field on a straight line and then cuts toward the middle of the field.
Down and Out
a receiver route where a wide receiver will run down the field on a straight line and then cuts toward the sideline.
Down the Field
football games glossary term for direction of opponent's goal line.
Draft Choice
player selected by pro team from college players for the annual draft.
a series of plays that end in a score or a turnover. Aren't those long drives exciting?
Drop Back
football jargon for the action of a quarterback taking steps backwards behind the offensive line in order to throw the ball.
Drop Kick
motion where the ball is dropped and kicked after it hits the ground.

Football Games Glossary E

Eligible Receiver
a member of the offense that is eligible to catch the football.
a penalty called when a defensive player touches an offensive player prior to the ball being hiked to the quarterback.
End Line
football term for the boundary line located at each end of the field.
End Zone
the area that must be reached to score a touchdown or two-point conversion.
Extra Point
a field goal kick after a touchdown is worth one point, if successful.

Football Players Terms F

Fair Catch
a receiver can call for a fair catch that blows the play dead when the ball is received. Defensive players cannot tackle this offensive player after the call.
Fair Catch Interference
penalty that occurs when the defense gets too close to a player receiving a punt.
False Start
happens when an offensive player moves prior to the ball hike.
Field Goal
a kick worth three points. How many times has this successful play been a game winner?
Field Position
occurs when the offense takes control of the ball.
First and Ten
the first of four downs with ten yards to go.
First Down
awarded when the offensive teams gains ten or more yards on a given play.
Flag Football
a form of football where the player is ruled down when a flag is pulled off by a defender rather than tackling them.
football players terms for a wide receiver.
football jargon for a play where all players go to one side of the field.
Forward Pass
a pass going downfield in front of the quarterback.
Forward Progress
the point a player reaches prior to being tackled and where the ball is spotted.
rule violation resulting in a penalty.
team ownership.
Free Agent
term for expired contract player who can then select other team offers.
Free Kick
a punt that takes the place off a kickoff after a safety.
Free safety
a player on defense who is the last line of the defense and therefore, plays the furthest downfield.
Front Four
another name for the defensive line. Depending on the team, can be considered the 'fearsome four'.
player who plays in front of the running back who is used for blocking, but will run or catch occasionally.
the loss of the ball while in play by a player advancing or in possession of the ball.

Football Players Terms G

Game Ball
typically refers to an award given to the most valuable player by the team after the game has ended.
Goal Line
the line that divides the field of play from the end zone.
Goal Line Stand
referred to when the defense stops the offense for consecutive downs when they are inside the five-yard line.
the posts or uprights where the ball must be kicked in between the two to score an extra point or field goal.
Going for It
football jargon for team decision to attempt a first down on the next play instead of punting. Failure of the strategy results in losing ball possession. Either way, this action makes for exciting football.
another term for the football field.
the outside players on the offensive line.
special teams players whose primary job is to race down the field to tackle the player returning a punt or kickoff.

Football Players Terms H

Hail Mary
football jargon for a deep pass thrown as a last resort with little chance of succeeding, but when it does--'tis a beautiful sight to see.
another term for a running back.
the act of the quarterback handing the ball to a player so they can advance the ball by running.
Hands Team
lingo used to recover an onside kick.
Hang Time
period of time that a punt remains in the air. Counting seconds=1, 2, 3...
Heisman Trophy
annual award for the finest college football player in the U.S.
the transfer of the ball from the center to the quarterback on his command.
Hitch and Go
a route run by a receiver where they fake back to the quarterback and go deep.
the player who holds the ball for the kicker.
the act of obstructing a player by physically restraining another player, normally by grabbing their jersey.
Home Field Advantage
game played at team's hometown venue.
Home Game
played at team's hometown venue.
a grouping of the players to plan offensive or defensive plays.
Hurry-up Offense
football jargon for offensive run in a quick manner where there is no time to substitute or huddle. Used in time sensitive situations at the end of games mainly.

Football Players Terms I - K

Illegal Procedure
illegal movement by an offensive player prior to the snap.
In bounds
field area inside end and sidelines. Keep those feet in, in and yes, in!
Incomplete Pass/Incompletion
a pass thrown by the quarterback but not caught.
Intentional Grounding
illegal throw of the ball to a spot on the field where there is no receiver.
a turnover where an opposing defensive player catches a ball thrown by the quarterback resulting in a change of possession.
change of possession that occurs after a score in which the team that scored kicks the ball to the other team in order to determine field position.
Kick Returner
someone who returns kickoffs.

Football Players Terms L

a pass thrown backwards to a teammate when that player is past the line of scrimmage.
a player in the middle of the defense that can rush the quarterback, drop back into coverage and stop the run.
a football term for offensive and defensive players on the line closest to the ball.
Line of Scrimmage
the line where the ball starts each play and then is advanced down the field as the offense moves the ball toward the end zone.
Live Ball
occurs when the football is put into play or kicked.
Long Snapper
football lingo for player who specializes in hiking the ball longer distances in order to be kicked.
Loose Ball
a fumble. Ok, who's got it?

Football Players Terms M

Man in Motion
the player who is in motion on offense prior to the snap. Typically, only one player is allowed in motion at a time.
Man-to-man Coverage
defensive scheme in which each player is assigned one offensive player to guard.
refers to the 50-yard line.

Football Players Terms N

Necessary Line
area that the offensive team must travel to receive a first down.
Neutral Zone
the space between the ball and the defensive line, prior to the snap.
Nickel Back
the fifth cornerback on the field.
Nickel Defense
lingo for defensive scheme utilizing five cornerbacks.
Nose Guard
the central player on the defensive line who lines up opposite the center.
Nose Tackle
another name for nose guard.

Football Players Terms O

Offending Team
football team that committed a foul.
the team trying to score and score and score and...
Offensive Pass Interference
blatant obstruction keeping the defense from catching the ball.
those in charge of keeping order in the game and enforcing rules.
occurs when the offense moves across the neutral zone prior to the ball being snapped.
On Downs
loss of ball possession.
Onside Kick
action where the kicking team tries to recover after ten yards.
Open Receiver
player who is not well protected by the opposing team, thus open to a play.
football jargon for a play in which the quarterback keeps the ball and runs with the option of pitching it to his running back.
Out of Bounds
field area outside end and sidelines. Further play is not continued.
extra period of play that happens when the score is tied at the end of the game.

Football Game Terms P - Q

a throw by the quarterback to an eligible receiver.
Pass Defender
football term for player who covers an opposing receiver.
Pass Interference
see offensive and defensive pass interference.
Pass Patterns/Pass Routes
established plays that allow the passer or quarterback to execute rapidly.
Pass Protection
performed by offensive players to protect the quarterback from defenders during pass plays.
Pass Rush
defending tactic to move forward quickly to sack/disengage the quarterback.
PAT or Point after Touchdown
abbreviation that stands for point after touchdown. It is a field goal that is worth one point.
any of a number of infractions that are illegal and called during the game.
Personal Foul
typically unnecessary roughness or any called foul that is outside of game field play.
another name for an interception. Either way, one team lost the ball, yikes!
football game terms for the required to play equipment=footballs.
football jargon for lateral pass to a running back by the quarterback.
a field goal or kick off taking place from a set spot on the field.
player on a team designated for kicking.
tactical action to score points.
Play Action Pass
a pass in which a handoff is faked, followed by a pass thrown.
Play Book
plays that a team runs, usually diagramed in a book and given to each player.
Play Clock
determines time spent before ball is snapped/put into play. This action must occur before clock is at 0.
lingo for the area formed by the offensive line when the ball is in play to protect the quarterback.
Pooch Kick
football jargon for a short, high kick.
any team or player in control of the football.
Previous Spot
location of the football where the last play began.
Primary Receiver
the number one target for a quarterback.
Pump Fake
football jargon for a pass fake by a quarterback.
occurs on fourth down when a team gives the ball back to the other team after they determine they cannot achieve a first down.
orange marker marking the corners of the end zone.
player who runs the offense and either throws or hands the ball off. Arguably, the shining star of the team, certainly the most recognizable.

Football Game Terms R

Reading the Defense
adjustment of offense based on the quarterback's analysis of the defense.
player responsible for catching the football.
to secure or re-secure possession of a fumble.
Red Zone
the area between the 20-yard line and the end zone.
another name for official. Do I hear a 'he's just calling 'em like he sees 'em'?
player who receives the ball and moves towards the other direction.
a running play where a wide receiver is used as a half back.
Roll Out
lingo for the quarterback running toward the sideline prior to throwing or running with the football.
football jargon for first-year professional league player.
Roughing the Kicker
hitting of the kicker by the defense after the kick.
Roughing the Passer
hitting of the quarterback by the defense after the pass is away.
pattern run by the receiver in order to get open to receive a pass.
Running Back
player whose primary responsibility is to run with the football to advance it down the field.
Running into the Kicker
inadvertent contact with the kicker, typically from momentum, after the kick has transpired.
football term for a running play.

Football Game Terms S

tackling the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage.
tackling the offense in their own end zone, counts for two points.
a broken play where the quarterback must run under duress.
Screen Pass
a pass setup with downfield blocking, thrown to the running back and starting behind the line of scrimmage.
the defensive backs on defense.
group of 4 downs with the intention of gaining 10 yards.
field length boundary line located at each sight. Outside this line is considered out of bounds.
Signal Caller
another name for quarterback. Who's the best 'clutch quarterback'? Talk amongst yourselves on this one.
football game terms for tournament where a team is eliminated after one loss.
football game terms for a straight route run on an angle by a wide receiver.
Special teams
refers to players who play on the kick and punt teams.
lingo for football hike.
football jargon for player who celebrates a touchdown with a quick ball throw down.
an accurate pass or kick where the football spins in the same direction.
Squib kick
short kick that remains close to the ground in which a return is not possible.
football term for marked location of forward progress and/or a foul.
Stiff or Straight-Arm
ball carrier's move to deflect an opposing tackler.
Succeeding Spot
location of start of next play if no penalty called.
Super Bowl
Championship game in the National Football League. Usually, played in January or February, this is one big parteeee!

Football Game Terms T

football term for player position for both the offensive and defensive lines.
football term for contact of ball carrier with the intention of tackling him to the ground to end the play.
area of field that each team guards against the opposing team, thus, half the field.
football jargon for play that requires an advance of more than 7 yards on a third down.
Touchdown or TD
six points, scored when the offense crosses into the opponent's end zone.
a kickoff that goes into the end zone
spotted at the 20-yard line.
change of possession.
Two minute warning
signal that there is two minutes left in the play segment.
Two Point Conversion
attempt at two points after a touchdown by crossing the end zone instead of kicking.

Football Game Terms U - Z

Unnecessary Roughness
use of excessive force when tackling a player.
part of the goalpost that the ball must go between to score a PAT or field goal.
a wide receiver or receiver.
Wild card
team that advances to the playoffs based on their record in their division. Basically, a second place qualification prize.
Winning percentage
football term for number of games that a team has won during a specific time period.
bad case of nerves resulting in shakes that make it very difficult for a gamer to play well. This lingo can be used in reference to many games.
Zone Defense
defensive scheme in which players cover an area of the field as opposed to covering a specific man.