American Football

A brief overview of the sport of Football

Football in the United States is a team sport played with an oblong shaped ball. This type of football is known as American Football. American football is a variation of  rugby football and association football. The rules of the game of football varies by country and by platform. The sport known as soccer in America is generally known as football in many other parts of the world.

For the remainder of this article the term football will refer to the American version of the sport.

A Brief History of Football

The origins of football date back to mid-19th century. As far back as early 19th century football was a popular sport and pasttime at colleges and universities in the United States. Walter Camp the "Father of American Football" altered the rules of Rugby and was major factor in creating what is known as American Football.

Football Equipment

American football is played with an egg-shaped ball that is pointed at each in. The ball is commonly refered to as the "pigskin" because in the early days of football, balls were made of inflated pig bladder placed inside a leather cover. For full contact football helment and shoulder pads and cleats are generally worn by all players on both teams.



Pee Wee Football

PeeWee Football is a variation of the game of football suited to fit children. Pee-wee football is designated for elementary school children as there are generally no organized sports in elementary schools. The rules have been adapted to better suit the skill level of kids. Participation is generally all-inclusive regardless of skill level. Pee Wee football is designed to teach kids the basics of team work and organized sports.The most popular pee wee football organzition is the Pop Warner Football organization which is an non-profit that provides football programs in the United States and around the world.

Flag Football

Flag Football is a variation of tackle or contact football in which players must snatch a "flag" from the uniform of an opposing player instead of tackling. Helment and pads are not required in flag football, as it is a less agressive version of American football.

Intermural Football

Intermural commonly refers to various football programs that are found in many middle schools, junior high schools, and highschools across the country. Kids and teens enrolled in public or private schools can choose to play sports such as football as an extra-curricular activity while enrolled as a student. The National Federation of State AHigh School Associations governs sports and activities for most high school sports, football being one such sport. The NFHS is able to govern both public and private schools in the United States.In high school students that show great skill in the game of football may recieve college scholarships if they choose to continue to play the sport at the university level.

College Football

College Football is governed by the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), headquartered in Indianpolis, Indiana. The NCAA governs other college sports including, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, track and field, swimming and many other sports. Colleges that have sports programs are divided into what are known as divisions. Larger schools are generally classified as and compete in Division I football while smaller schools compete in Division II and Division III. The culmination of the football season ends in teams competiting in a national championship title game known as a "Bowl Game." The criteria for selected to compete in a bowl game has come under much scrutiny in recent years as the structure for selecting teams now includes a combination of human polls and computer rankings.


Semi-Professional Football

Amateur football organizations are genereally refered to as semi-professional leagues or what would other wise be known as minor league in other sports. Depending on the organization or league skill level of teams and the skill level of players on one particular team can range can range from hobbyist to NFL level. Quincy Carter and Terrel Owens, both of which are former Dallas Cowboys football players have infamously gone from playing in top positions in the NFL to playing for semi-professional teams.


Professional Football (NFL)

The NFL is the highest level of football in the United States. The NFL is made up of 32 teams. Players are selected from what is known as the NFL draft. Players entering the draft generally come from college teams. Some independents, not belonging to a college team at the time of the draft enter the drafts. Such was the case with former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Quincy Carter. The NFL is considered the top professional football league in the world. In the United States professional football is one of the most watched sporting events compared to other televised sports. The Super Bowl is the top rated television program of the year.


American Football is one of the country's favorite pasttimes and has become a multi-billion dollar industry.