One interesting fact about football is that it is a combination of soccer and rugby. Another fact is that Rutgers and Princeton universities played the first college football game in 1869. In 1892, William Heffelfinger became the first pro football player after being paid $500 to play in a game.Continue Reading
American football is played on a field 100 yards long and 53 yards wide. There are 11 players on offense and 11 on defense. Scoring a touchdown is worth six points, while kicking a field goal is worth three. Other ways to score include kicking an extra point after a touchdown and tackling opponents in their own end zone for a safety, which is worth two points. A team advances the ball with a pass or a run.
Each game consists of four 15-minute quarters. Turnovers can occur when an opponent intercepts a pass or recovers a fumbled ball. There are four chances, or downs, to move the ball 10 yards to receive another set of downs. Teams are assessed penalties for violations of the rules, including holding, pass interference, offsides and illegal blocking.
A field goal was reduced from four points to three in 1909. In 1912, a touchdown was increased from five points to six. The American Professional Football Association changed its name to the National Football League in 1922. In 1939, NBC became the first network to televise a professional football game.
Wilson began making the official NFL game ball in 1941, and the company produces 10 footballs from one cowhide.Learn more about American Football