Rules, History, and Development
Football is a very popular sport in the United States. It is played on playgrounds and in schools all around the country. Touch football developed in the late 19th century, as an alternative to tackle football, which required a lot of equipment. A number of variations of football were developed so that all you needed to play was a ball and a field. These variations include two-hand touch, where you have to touch the ball carrier with two hands; one-hand touch; and another method of one hand below the waist. None of the three games described involve tackling, thus eliminating the use of shoulder pads, helmets, and other safety equipment. The rules to these games included only limited blocking, or no blocking at all.
Flag football developed off of the ?touch? football games as a concrete way of determining where the ball is down. In flag football, the ball carrier is down when a flag is pulled from the ball carrier?s belt. Flags can be tucked into pockets, and handkerchiefs can be substituted for manufactured flags. These new rules meant that argument could not be made about whether or not the defender touched the ball carrier or not. The flag was either there or it wasn?t. It, also, made it easier for coeducational play in schools and playgrounds.
Football is a popular fall sport that has become part of our culture in the United States. It can be an excellent coeducational activity too. Middle School or Junior High is when football should be introduced to youngsters, as it is more difficult to understand than some of the more basic games. Boys, tend to be more skilled in the areas of development needed to play football such as throwing, catching, and kicking. Girls don?t seem to have as much opportunity. If girls are taught the skills necessary to play football at an early age, they will have more success as they grow older. All youngsters should have an opportunity to learn the game, and become informed observers. Touch and flag football have become lifetime sports for some participants, mostly men. Football skills develop eye-foot and eye-hand coordination, along with coordination, running speed and agility, and strength. Football isn?t a great source of cardiovascular activity however, because it requires only short bursts of energy.
The objective in football is to carry or pass the ball into the opponent?s end zone for a touchdown, and in defense, keep the other team from scoring in the end zone that your team defends. There are various rules to the different types of football that are played today. The ball may be moved forward by either passing or running. The ball carrier is stopped when he/she is ruled down (either by touch or by snatching a flag depending on the style of football). The team with the most points in the allotted time wins unless there is a tie. Ties can be decided by playing until there is a winner, or the team with the most first downs during play. Touchdowns count as six points, and are made by passing or carrying the ball over the goal line. A safety is worth two points, and is accomplished when you tackle an opponent in their own end zone. A field goal counts as three points (if allowed). A conversion (also called a point after try) is another means of scoring, and counts as one point if the ball is kicked through the field goal posts, or two points if the ball is passed or ran across the goal line after a touchdown. Most flag football fields do not have goal posts, making kicking conversions or field goals impossible.
Blocking with the shoulders is usually allowed. Players may not block using their hands, and must not leave their feet to block. Some rules do not allow any blocking with physical contact, and use a screen instead. A screen is set when a player stands in the way of a defender who is running toward the ball carrier as to get in their way. The defender must then go around the player setting the screen. No pushing is allowed in this type of play.
Play starts with a kickoff (a punt or placekick), usually taken from the 20 yard line or quarter yard line. The receiving team goes to offense after receiving the ball, and the kicking team is on defense. After each touchdown or field goal, play resumes with a kickoff by the team that scored. Teams can retain the ability to control the football by either gaining 10 yards in 4 downs, reaching the second yard marker in 4 downs, or reaching the next closest line if the field is marked in quarters, depending on the rules you wish to use. If there are no marks on the field, then a team can be forced to score in 4 downs. If one team can?t score in 4 downs, then the other team takes over possession from where the other team left off. A team can choose to punt the ball if they don?t think they can make a first down, and must announce that they are going to punt. The defense can not rush the kicker in an attempt to block the kick, and offense can not cross the scrimmage line until the ball is kicked. Fumbled balls are ruled dead, and possession is retained by the fumbling team. Playing time consists of two 20-minute halves, four 10 minute quarters, or whatever the time is allotted.
Field conditions for flag and touch football should be flat and grassy if possible. The minimum size of the field should be 40 yards by 80 yards, and should have a perimeter of at least 10 yards around the field. If stripes are not marked on the field, cones may be used to designate the field dimensions. Equipment used can be as simple as a football (choose one that is suitable for the age group who is playing), flags, and pinnies to differentiate between teams.
Outline of Fundamentals
I. Passing and Catching
1. Passer must pass before crossing the line of scrimmage
2. Hold ball in both hands until ready to throw
3. Throwing hand grips the ball in the middle of the ball
4. Fingers on laces
5. Non-throwing hand supports the ball before it is thrown
6. Carry ball vertically
7. Rotate trunk and hips counter clockwise to prepare a right hand throw
8. Separate hands and move non-throwing hand forward for balance
9. Move ball behind ear to cock for the throw with flexed elbow
10. Step with non-throwing leg
11. Rotate hips and trunk forward and shift weight into the throw
12. When trunk, hips, and shoulders face target, whip arm toward target
13. Release the ball when the hand is tangent to the target.
14. Follow through with the arm movement toward the target
1. Ball must be thrown behind or to the side of the passer, not toward goal
2. Team may throw more than one lateral during a play
3. Grasp ball with both hands w/ tip away from receiver
4. Keep arms close to the body w/ football
5. Step toward the receiver
6. Lightly toss or pitch the ball to the receiver
7. Toss the ball waist high to the receiver
8. Follow through with motion toward the receiver after the toss
1. To begin play, center must snap the ball to the backfield player
2. Ball should reach the receiver at chest height
3. Snap length can be either
a. a handoff to the quarterback
b. a long snap when the quarterback is in the backfield
4. When centering, keep feet shoulder length apart
5. Distribute weight evenly
6. Keep both hands on the ball
7. Lean over the ball, and flex at the knees
8. Extend arms under the legs, tossing the football back to the quarterback
9. Practice getting a spiral to the receiver
A. Used to prevent interception and inaccurate passes
B. The ball is held close to the body with both hands
C. Foot closest to the handoff steps forward
D. Ball is extended to the receiver at waist level
E. Ball should be held until the receiver takes the ball
F. Receiver should accept the ball with one arm on top and the other on the bottom of the football
G. Receiver should clamp down on the ball when receiving it so as not to drop it
III. Ball Carrying
A. Carry the ball against the body
B. Tuck ball between the body and the upper arm in combination w/ inside of elbow
C. Hold the ball in the palm of the hand w/ the fingers gripping the front of the ball
D. Carry ball on the side away from tacklers
E. When opponents draw close, hold the ball with both hands
A. Position yourself in front of the ball
B. Extend the arms outward toward the approaching ball
C. Palms should be facing the ball w/ thumbs toward each other for balls above the waist
D. Fingers point down w/ palms facing ball when ball is below the waist
F. Dissipate the force of the ball by bringing the ball toward the center of the body
A. Feet are in side-straddled position
B. Feet shoulder width apart
C. Linemen should have feet flat, Ends should have weight on balls of feet
D. Place the shoulder against the chest, shoulder, or midsection of the opponent
E. Hands/Arms can not be used to hold the opponent
F. Keep a firm base with which to push against your opponent
G. Shift body weight into opponent
1. Used at the beginning of each half, and after goals
2. Place ball on kicking tee, or have a player act as a ball holder
3. If using ball holder, he/she should hold the ball vertically, using the ground and either one or two fingers to hold the ball into place
4. Ball should slant slightly backward for loft on the kick
5. Ball holder should be on the side of the football where he/she will not get kicked
6. Kicker runs at ball at a comfortable speed
7. Kicker then plants nonkicking foot on the side of the football
8. Hyperextend the leg at the hip and knee
9. Then extend the leg forward in a whipping motion to kick the ball
10. Foot should meet the ball when the leg is fully extended
11. Ball should contact th instep of the foot when kicked
12. Follow through with kicking motion after contact
1. Ball is snapped by center to the punter
2. Hold ball in front of the body w/ the laces up
3. Hands should hold the ball on opposite sides
4. With ball pointing down, step forward w/ nonkicking leg
5. Hyperextend knee and hip as in the place kick
6. Continue to flex at the hip and extend at the knee
7. Drop the ball toward the foot at the same time the knee is extending toward the ball
8. Strike the football w/ the instep of the foot
9. Follow through with the kicking motion
VII. Tagging/Grabbing the Flag
A. Feet should be about shoulder width apart
B. Weight on the balls of the feet, and slightly crouched in a ?ready? position
C. Arms should be flexed and out to the sides
D. Tackler should watch the waist of the runner so as not to be ?faked out?
E. Keep feet moving and don?t lunge at the ball carrier
F. Tag or reach for the flag of the ball carrier as you approach him/her or as he/she approaches you
G. Use short quick steps to help maintain body control
Have the players get with a partner, and practice throwing the football, using the techniques for proper throwing and catching. Throws should be as accurate as possible. See how many times the students can pass the ball back and forth without the ball touching the ground.
Get participants into two lines, one line will have footballs, and will be passing to the other line. The other line will be running a route in which the passer has to throw the ball to the receiver while he/she is on the run. If you don?t complete the pass, your team is out of the competition.
III. Pass Defense
Have two lines again, one receiving, and one defending. Have the receivers run a route, only this time put a defender on them. If the ball is intercepted, the offense goes to defense, and vice versa. Match up the players so that they are competing against someone of similar skill.
IV. Running the Ball/Tackling
Have a small field-type area with which a ball carrier has to run past a defender without being tackled, or run out of bounds. If the ball carrier gets into the end zone, a point is awarded, and then the defender gets to switch to offense and the offensive player is the defender. Whoever has the most points at the end of a time period wins, and doesn?t have to run a lap.
Have the players practice for a few minutes kicking the football. After they warm-up for a few tries, see which student can kick the ball the farthest. Then see who?s kicks stay in the air the longest by timing them with a stop watch. Boys could compete against boys, and girls against girls. You could award the winners by making them captains of their own teams in the next class period.
I. Throwing-Have the students practice passing the ball, then have them try and hit a target, such as a hanging tarp. The student?s grade will depend on the number of times that the student hits the target in 10 consecutive throws. Remember not to make the target too far from the passing line. 10=A, 9=A-, 8=B, 7=C, 6=D, 5 and below =F.
II. Catching-Have players practice catching balls passed by the instructor. The student?s grade is determined by the number of passes that are caught by the student out of 10 tries. Extra credit could be given for a chance at 2 over the shoulder catches. Extra credit would replace a missed catch in the original catching drill. 10=A, 9=A-, 8=B, 7=C, 6=D, 5 and below =F.
III. Punting-Have the player use a 3-step punt, in punting the football toward a big tarp. The number of times the football hits the tarp in the air out of 10 tries, determines the student?s grade. Punting should not weight as much as other skill tests because it is a harder skill to learn than passing or throwing. 10=A, 9=A-, 8=B, 7=C, 6=D, 5 and below =F.
Football Written Test
1. The person who generally receives the football from the center is
B. Tight End
2. Which of the following must a player not use when blocking?
D. Both B and C
3. Backfield players include which of the following:
A. Wide Reciever
4. The person who stands next to the center is a:
A. Middle Man
5. The player standing on the outside of the guard and center on the line is a:
B. Tight End
6. The player who guards a wide reciever is called a:
C. Defensive Back
7. In order to score, a team must get the ball in the other team?s:
C. End Zone
8. A field goal is worth:
A. 2 points
B. 3 points
C. 6 points
9. A touchdown is worth:
A. 1 point
B. 6 points
C. 7 points
10. A conversion is worth:
A. 1 point
B. 2 points
C. Either A or B depending on how you get the conversion.
11. Grabbing the flag of the ball carrier is called:
12. One complete play or attempt to gain ground is called a:
13. The line that seperates the defense and offense before the ball is hiked is called:
A. Goal Line
C. Side Line
14. A pass that is not airborne, but is handed directly to the reciever is called a:
B. Forward Pass
15. A pass thrown behind or to the side of the thrower is called a:
A. Forward Pass
B. Center Snap
16. A person who runs after the quarterback in an attempt to tackle him behind scrimmage is called a:
17. Which of the following is not an offensive formation?
B. Double Wing
18. A moving block is called a:
A. button hook
19. The team that kicks off at the beginning of the game, usually starts out playing
C. Neither A or B, they could play either
20. How many periods are played in football?
A. Two 20 minute halves
B. Four 10 minute quarters
C. Either A or B
Answers: 1.A 2.D 3.B 4.B 5.C 6.C 7.C 8.B 9.B 10.C 11.B 12.A 13.B 14.C 15.C 16.C 17.C 18.C 19.A 20.C
Glassner, Barry, Julia Loughlin. Drugs in Adolescent Worlds: Burnouts to Straights.
Hansen, Wendell. How to Steer Clear of Drugs. Indianapolis, IN: Heartland Technical
Drug Control in America. Westport CT: Greenwood P, 1983.
Hall, Inc., 1972.
Project. Ann Arbor, MI: U of Michigan P, 1973.
and Drug Misuse: Hazards in Using Psychoactive Drugs. San Francisco: Jossey
Bass Inc., 1971.
Solomon, David, ed. The Marihauna Papers. New American Library, 1968