American football is one of the sports that gradually evolved from the usual football and rugby games; however, in this game players are allowed to touch the ball and carry it with their hands, and American football is one of the largest sports that receive wide popularity in the United States of America in particular, evidenced by the existence of professional leagues such as the NFL, which attracts the best players from around the world, and the popularity of this game is not limited to the United States of America only; it is popular in Canada, Britain, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Finland, Japan, Mexico, Austria, and other countries of the world. The game is administered by the International Federation of American football (in English according to the laws of this game, the general strategy of the game is by passing the team players the ball among themselves and running with it to score points by hitting the ball towards the opposing team's goal; the team that manages to score the most points during the game time wins the game.

The history of American football 

The first appearance of football in the United States was on Ellis Island in New York and in New Orleans where Irish, English, Scottish and German immigrants were competing.the first football match in the United States was held in 1869 and it was between Princeton University and Rutgers University and ended with Rutgers University winning by a score of 6-4 where each team had 25 players. the popularity of football did not spread in the United States unlike Europe, where Americans ' attention was focused on rugby, which later developed there into American football in 1880.In April 1913, the United States Football Association was founded and became a member of FIFA and then the North American Football Association.

The Popularity of American football 

In the United States, American football is the most popular and students play it from a young age, in schools and universities, and also the most famous is the 32-team American Football League. The pitch is 100 yards long and there is a line marking every ten yards. At the end of the American League, Two teams play the final game and the Super Bowl is held on the first Sunday of February. As mentioned above, this event reflects an important cultural element of American Society, which celebrates this event every year, regardless of the teams that meet in this crucial match. 

Super Bowl: the name is given to the most famous match in this sport, and as mentioned above, it is held on the first Sunday of February, an event that brings millions to the organized City, the American people organize parties at home, and every family invites friends and relatives to the so-called Super Bowl party. Which is watched by about 105 million viewers .on television in the USA and around the world.

 Outside the United States and Canada, the sport is called American football to distinguish it from football and other sports such as rugby, which some call by the same name. American football broke away from rugby and became a new sport at the end of the XIX century. There are also sports similar to this sport, such as Canadian Football. The American League has endeavors to transfer and spread the sport outside the United States, Britain and Europe, specifically with endeavors to spread it in India, Canada and Mexico.

American Football tools 

There are many tools and equipment that must be available before starting an American Football match, these tools are as follows: 

Oval ball: a ball must have an oval shape and have a specific weight and dimensions. 

Helmet: the helmet should include shoulder pads, a mask that completely covers the face, as well as a chin strap, a mouthguard and a shock absorber. 

Shoulder pads: this tool is placed on the shoulders of players with the aim of making them look bigger than they are, and the shoulder pads contain a special shock-absorbing material. Arm pads: this flexible and light tool is worn with the aim of protecting the player's arms from being exposed to shocks. Elbow pads: the task of this tool is to protect the player's elbow. 

Rib pads: this tool is characterized by its ability to maintain the internal heat of the player's body, and it performs the task of protecting the ribs of his body to avoid injury. 

Hip pads: this tool is worn under the player's pants to protect the back of his body. 

Thigh and knee pads: these padded pads are made of plastic and sponge material and protect players ' thighs and knees from possible blows. 

Gloves: gloves are one of the non-mandatory tools for players; however, they have a big role in protecting hands and fingers. 

Foot shoe: the shoe for the sport of American football should have spikes at the bottom, so as to facilitate the practice of the game on the grass and prevent players from slipping. 

Shirt and trousers: American football players should wear loose-fitting shirts made of colored nylon, as well as trousers with pockets that are used to secure the thigh and knee pads.

The rules of American football game 

The pitch 

The dimensions of the playground are 360 feet long and 160 feet wide, which is equal to (109.7 m long and 48.8 m wide). The long lines on the sides are called (sidelines) or (sidelines) and the short lines are called the end zone lines or (end zone) and the attacking team is required to cross these short lines to score points, or the defending team must stop the attack before it crosses the end zone line or (end zone). The end zone starts from a line called the scoring line and ends with a line called the finish line and the distance between them is 19 yards or (9.1 m). Also there is a repeating line on the floor every 10 yards.

The players

The number of players in each team is more than fifty. But there are only 11 players on the field at the same time, these players are divided according to the function that each of them performs into three teams: attack, defense, and special teams.there are QB, Quarter Back, or quarterback. these players often have distinctive skills from the rest of the team because their job is to create opportunities for their teammates to score points. 

The way of playing

The way to play American football is by players catching the ball and running with it a distance of 9.15 meters and skipping the field line by running with the ball or passing it to another teammate, and each team has four chances to do this; as soon as the ball crosses the field line, a new attack is started in an attempt to reach the finish line again, and with the run out of opportunities without the team being able to cross the nine meters, the ball is automatically played to the other team, and the team that scores the most points is the winning team in the match. 

The six points: 

6 points are awarded to the team if the players advance the ball until it crosses the finish line in the opponent's team zone without stopping. 

The three points: 

3 points are awarded to the team if the team player throws the ball over the crossbar of the goal, which is represented by the presence of two columns at the end line of the team area, when he is close to the end and in a position that allows him to throw the ball.the goal scored in this way is called a field goal (English: Field goal). 

The one point: 

An additional point is awarded to the team if the player throws the ball, and it crosses the opposing team's own goal. 

Two points: 

Two points are awarded to a team if the ball is run towards the finish line of the opposing team's court again, but this movement is rare and difficult to happen, and a team can earn two points by drawing the ball from the attacking opposing team at the finish line. The team that scores the most points at the end of the last half is considered the winner of the game, and if the points are equal between the two teams, an additional half is started until one of the teams wins. 

The Time of the match

The duration of one match in the sport of American football is a full hour (60 Minutes), which is divided into two halves; each half is divided into two halves, each is called a quarter-half and is a quarter of an hour (15 minutes), the break time between the first and second halves is 12 minutes, and two minutes with the end of the first quarter and the third quarter, the timing of the match begins with the kick-off, and 40 seconds are set for each team to catch the ball, and the team that fails to do so is penalized, and the match timer is stopped in case of calling a penalty, or a player of one of the teams sometimes both teams resort to an additional 15-minute half in case the two teams are tied in the result of the match during the two halves, and the team that will take possession of the ball first is determined by the coin toss procedure, and the team that scores the point first is considered the winning team in the match. 

The differences and similarities between American football and Rugby

There are many similarities between American football and Rugby; however, there are also many differences between these two games; in American Football, points can be scored by delivering the ball to behind the finish line of the opposing team, but in rugby, points can be scored by carrying the ball and then passing it to the finish line of the other team and then placing it behind this line, and despite this difference in one of the ways of scoring among American football and rugby, there is a similarity between these two sports in one of the ways of scoring points; namely by kicking the ball in between goalkeepers. The Shape of the ball used is another of the obvious differences between rugby and American football; where American soccer balls are less weight and longer than rugby balls, in addition, there is a difference in the number of key players who participate in rugby and American football matches; in American football, the number of players of each team is eleven key players while there are fifteen key players in the sport of rugby.

There is wonder that regular football has not a wide fame in the United States, as there are various sports, most notably basketball and baseball, and of course the American version of football, which is called "American Football", while the usual football is known as "Soccer".

football in the united states

كرة القدم الامريكية              American football

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