Are You Ready for Some Football?!

It's that time of the year. The National Football League (NFL) season is now in full swing. American football is rapidly overtaking baseball as the favorite sport. Over 110 million people tuned into this year's Super Bowl, the championship game for the NFL.

A football is an oval shaped ball with laces, similar to a rugby ball. This makes sense, since the game evolved from rugby. Football is a full contact sport with 11 people on the field for each team.

"Edward Jones Dome endzone view" by Clstds - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The team with the ball (offense) attempts to move from one end of the field to the other. The defense attempts to stop them. The offense is given four tries to move the football 10 yards (30 feet). If the offense is unsuccessful, they turn the ball over to the defense (and they switch roles). There are plenty of rules. For much more detail on American professional football, click here.

There's a Canadian Football League as well and their rules differ a bit from the NFL. They have an extra 50 yard line which increases the total length of the playing field to 110 yards. The end zones are also twice as deep, 20 yards each vs 10 yards for the NFL. The CFL offense uses 3 downs instead of 4 to move the ball at least 10 yards. 

Activity

Well, you can always go outside and play or turn on the TV and watch some football...but that's too easy! If you have littler ones in tow, why not play a little tabletop football while nice and warm inside your house? I remember tabletop football from my middle school days. This video will show you how to make the "ball." You'll probably have to help your younger children make one. Older kids will get it, no problem!

If you want some rules to follow, start here. Have fun!

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