Gridiron football (North American football)

Gridiron football (North American football)

Gridiron football, namely American and Canadian football are the derivatives of Rugby football and Association football and evolved in their own directions over the long period of time in the North America.

 

American football fields 11 players per team while 1 team is 12 players in Canadian football. The Canadian football had more unique features before. But it’s becoming more similar to the American football since it imported some of the rules from the USA.

 

The common features include the use of the hard body protections such as a helmet and pads. Forward passing and downs were also invented. The Gridiron football uses smaller oval shaped ball with both ends pointed. This makes the long distance 1 hand passing possible. The Rectangular field with lines looks like the grid.

 

The international sporting body is the IFAF (International Federation of American Football) and organises IFAF World Championship of American Football.

 

 

American football

Various types of football games such as Association football and Rugby football were played in USA during early days. The major rule modification was made in1880 such as 4 downs, 11 players, the field of 100 yards long. Th forward pass was added later and the American football started evolving in unique way.

 

The American football is the most watched sport in the USA and the Super Bowl is the biggest sport event in the territory. The NFL (National Football League) and the NCAA College Football attract large audiences across the country.

 

Rules:

The offence side can advance in 4 downs, and if advanced less than 10 yards, the ball possession turns over to the opposite team. The offence side gets another 4 downs to advance by advancing 10 yards or more. Points can be scored by reaching the end zone and make the touchdown. The alternative way to score points is kicking the ball through goalposts for a field goal.

 

In American football, 1 game (60 minutes) consists of 4 quarters of 15 minutes. 1 team consists of 11 players.

 

Positions:

Offense:

Quarterback: 1 player.

Tailback/Halfback: 1 player.

Fullback: 1 player.

Wide receiver: 2 to 4 players.

Center: 1 player.

Guard: 2 players.

Tackle: 2 players.

Tight end: 1 player.

 

Tight end, Right tackle, Left guard ,Center, Right guard, Left tackle.

Wide receiver, Wide receiver.

Quarterback.

Fullback.

Tailback/Halfback.

 

Defense:

Defensive tackle: 2 players.

Defensive end: 2 players.

Middle linebacker: 1 player.

Outside linebacker: 2 players.

Cornerback: 2 players.

Free safety: 1 player.

Strong safety: 1 player.

 

Defensive end, Defensive tackle, Defensive tackle, Defensive end.

Outside linebacker, Middle linebacker, Outside linebacker.

Free safety, Strong safety.

Cornerback, Cornerback.

 

Special roles:

Field goal and PAT (Point-after-touchdown):

Placekicker, Holder, Long snapper.

 

Punt:

Punter, Long snapper, Upback, Gunner.

 

Kick returner, Punt returner.

Jammer.

 

Points:

Touchdown (TD) 6.

Point-after-touchdown (PAT), Two-point conversion 2, Conversion 1.

Field goal (FG) 3.

 

The field size of American football:

Rectangular shape 120yd (110m) long x 53.33 yd (48.76 m) wide with 10yd between the goal line and the end line on each end included.

The goalposts are 18ft 6in (5.64m) apart and the crossbar is 10ft (3m) high.

The ball of American football is oval-shaped and weight 14oz to 15oz (397g to 425g).

 

Competitions:

The NFL (National Football League): Professional football.

Super Bowl.

The NFC (National Football Conference).

The AFC (American Football Conference).

Pro Bowl.

 

The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association): College football.

Division I: The FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision), The FCS (Football Championship Subdivision).

Division II.

Division III.

 

The NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations): High school football.

 

The USA Football:

The organisation in charge of the grassroot football.

 

American football in the world:

IFAF (International Federation of American Football):

IFAF World Championship of American Football.

IFAF Women’s World Championship.

IFAF U-19 World Championship.

 

Europe:

The EFAF (European Federation of American Football).

The EFL (European Football League).

Eurobowl.

EFAF Cup.

Atlantic Cup.

Challenge Cup.

 

Austria: Austrian Football League.

Germany: German Football League.

Great Britain: BAFA National Leagues.

France: Ligue Élite de Football Américain.

Italy: Italian Football League.

 

Latin America:

Mexico:

Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional (Professional American Football League).

Liga Mayor, the ONEFA.

CONADEIP Premier Conference.

 

Brazil:

Confederação Brasileira de Futebol Americano (Brazilian Confederation of American Football):

The Superliga Nacional de Futebol Americano (National American Football Superleague).

 

Argentina:

Football Americano Argentina.

 

Japan:

X-League.

KCFA (Kantoh Collegiate Football Association).

Rice Bowl.

 

 

American football variants

Nine-man football

In Nine-man football, each team fields 9 players instead of 11. Nine-man football

is often played by high school teams. The system, 3 defensive linemen, 3 linebackers, 2 defensive backs and 1 safety, is the common for the defense. The field size on which the Nine-man football is played may be smaller in some cases, for example, 80yd (73m) long x 40yd (37m) wide.

 

 

Eight-man football

The Eight-man football is based on the standard American football and several rule changes are made. 1 team is 8 players in the Eight-man football. The field size of the Eight-man football may be 80yd (73m) long x 40yd (37m) wide if not the standard size.

 

 

Six-man football

The Six-man football was devised in 1934. It’s based on the American football and each team fields 6 players instead of 11. The field size of the Six-man football is 80yd (73m) long x 40yd (37m) wide. To gain a first down from the line of scrimmage is increased to15yd (14m) from 10yd (9m).

 

Six-man football games tend to have high scorelines. Players can move and advance more freely with more space available since players are largely reduced. In PAT (Point-after-touchdown), a kick is 2 point and conversion by passing and/or running is 1 point, which is opposite in the standard American football. A field goal is 4 points instead of 3 points. The value of kicking is enhanced in the Six-man football.

 

 

Flag football

The Flag football is based on the American football and simplified. The major change is the physical contacts, which are banned or restricted. The tackling is replaced with flags. Taking a tag off the ball carrier is counted as 1 down. Players don’t need to wear the shoulder pads and helmets. The rules of the Flag football vary.

 

The casual plays on playgrounds can be seen often. The field size and number of players can be flexible. The Flag football is suitable and safer for children as well.

 

Competitions:

The IWFFA (International Woman’s Flag Football Association) organises 8-a-side flag football tournaments.

 

The IFFF (International Flag Football Festival) hosts the World Cup of Flag Football.

 

The IFAF Flag Football World Championship is run by the IFAF (International Federation of American Football).

 

BAFA National Leagues based in the United Kingdom organises the nationwide competitions.

 

 

Beach flag football

The Beach flag football is the modified version of the American football for the play on the sand. Major rule changes include non-contact and no hard boots. Team size tend to be smaller such as 6 players. Field size also is smaller, for example, 60yd long x 30yd wide and 10yd end zones. So that it is easier to find the space and play on the beach. This can be the great amusement while staying by the coasts.

 

US Beach Flag Football Association organises variety of competitions including the coed.

 

 

Touch football

In the Touch football (American), players touch the ball carrier instead of full contact tackling. The rules may remain almost the same. Or rules may be largely modified depending on the circumstances. The game can be simplified such and without the field goal. Or just 1 point per touchdown and no other ways to score.

 

Team can sometimes have the role called the all-time Quarterback (Steady Quarterback, Steady Q). Number of players may vary. It can be just 4 players versus 4 players on the small field. Touch football is often played as the recreation in the park. It is safe and there are many casual players.

 

 

Arena football (Indoor football)

The American football has been reshaped to be held on the indoor fields, which is smaller than the standard field size. The field size may be 50yd long. 1 team consists of 8 players.

 

Indoor football is known to have been played in early 1900’s and 1930’s. It started growing popularity in 1980’s and many leagues were founded since. Some teams play in the modified ice hockey arenas. The Arena football can be played throughout the cold winter with heavy snow.

 

 

Street football (Backyard football, Sandlot football)

The Street football the simplified version of the American football with less protectors, but full-contact tacking is allowed. As the name indicates, field size small. The rules vary and team size can be 7 players or so. The A7FL (American 7’s Football league) organises competitions. Street football is popular among your people.

 

 

Austus

This is the compromised game of Australian rules football and American football invented while military personnel from United States stationed in Australia during the World War Two.

 

 

Canadian football

Canadian football was similar to the Rugby football. The Burnside rules were introduced in 1903, and the major changes include reducing to 12 players per team from 15. A team has to advance 10 yards at least in 3 downs or the ball goes to the opposite team.

 

The Canadian football has many similarities with the American football while it has its own characteristics to be the distinguished sport.

 

The field size of the Canadian football is 150yd (137m) long x 65yd (59 m) wide. The depth of each goal area is 20yd (18m). The length between 2 goal lines is 110yd (101m). The goalposts are 18ft 6in (5.64m) apart and the height of crossbar is 10ft (3m).

 

The CFL (Canadian Football League) is the professional league. The Football Canada is in charge of organising amateur football. U Sports football run competition at the University level. The Canadian Major Football League is the sport body operating the semi-professional Canadian football.

 

Competitions:

The CFL (Canadian Football League).

The Grey Cup.

U Sports football.

The Vanier Cup.

The Canadian Junior Football League.

The Canadian Bowl.

The Alberta Football League.

The Northern Football Conference.

The National Championship.

 

The Western Women’s Canadian Football League.

The Maritime Women’s Football League.

 

 

Canadian Nine-man football

The Canadian Nine-man football is based on the Canadian football. The regular field size is usually used and played by 9-a-side. It’s 3 players less than the standard Canadian football, which fields 12 players per team. This creates more spaces for running.

 

 

Canadian flag football

Tags are used instead of full-contact tackling in the Canadian football. It makes the game safer and more accessible for all levels of players. The Canadian flag football its counterpart of the American football.

 

 

Author: Takuya Nagata

Once played soccer for one of the biggest football clubs in Japan. Retired at young and voyaged alone to England and graduated from the UK’s university. Established careers as football journalist, football coach, football consultant, etc. across Europe such as Spain. Played rugby union since moving to the UK and investigated various codes of football. Knowledgeable in creative and online industries as well. The founder of “Propulsive Football (PROBALL)“, the world’s first ever competitive mixed football facilitating diversity and spirits for equal participation of the society. The founder of Tact Nexus Group.

 

 

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