Gridiron football is essentially the same as American football and Canadian football, both of which originated from the rugby football. (Gridiron Football) The sport has been named, or rather nicknamed Gridiron Football because of the resemblance of the paints of the football field to a gridiron. The object of the gridiron football for a team is to move the ball, which is spheroid in shape with stitches on one side to allow for a better grip, into its designated end zone and hence score more points than the rival team. The end zone is a 10 yard long area at each end of the 120 yard long football field. Hence, the total distance between the end zones is 100 yards. (Football Rules and Gameplay)
Usually, each team has distinct offensive and defensive units. A team is said to be on offense when it has the ball in its possession, whereas, it is said to be on defense when the ball is with the opposite team. (Football Rules and Gameplay)
Before discussing the anatomy of the play from either offensive or defensive point, it would be helpful to detail the different positions that players in each team can play on and the nature of the field. As already stated above, the total length of the football field is 120 yards while in width it is 53.3 yards long. The boundary lines along the length of the field are called sidelines while those along its width are called endlines. Near each end of the field is a goal line. The end zone, mentioned above, extends 10 yards beyond this goal line on each side of the field. (American Football)
Each team has 11 players on the field at a time, with substitutions allowed during the break between plays. A team can be divided into three units based on the nature of roles performed. These are: the offense, the defense and the special teams. A game begins with a coin toss. The team winning the toss makes one of three choices: 1) Kick off itself, or to receive the kickoff from the other team. 2) Choose which goal to defend. 3) Defer the first choice option to the second game. If the team that wins the toss decides to kick first or to receive the kick, the other team chooses its goal to defend or vice versa.
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