The Homecoming game — there’s a chance you were dragged there with friends, or maybe you’re there with a big foam finger and a varsity sweater, or maybe there’s the off chance you’re going all out with a purple wig and crudely written letter on your belly from the word “Mustang.”
But frozen nipples can’t help you if don’t have the slightest idea what is going on the field.
Well, you’re in luck, because this is a crash course in football for you.
Point of Game
There’s a field of play 110 yards long with end zones on each end. A 12-man offence takes the field and players either run the ball to the end zone or catch it there. When that happens it’s called a touchdown and is worth six points.
At the start of each play an invisible “line of scrimmage” separates one team’s offence from the opposing team’s defence. The teams line up facing each other and that line can’t be crossed until the quarterback screams the specific play and then grunts, “HUTT!” to start the play.
It’s the quarterback’s job to get the ball to his receivers who will carry the ball down the field with sights set on the end zone while avoiding the defensive players who are trying to take them down and steal the ball.
The offence is given three attempts, or “downs,” to cross at least 10 yards. After 10 yards have been passed, the downs reset and the offence is rewarded with a “first down.”
If an offensive player is tackled with the ball, the line of scrimmage moves to where that player was last “down.”
If they fail to make it past 10 yards after three attempts, they fork over the ball to the other team. Teams on offence now go on defence and vice-versa.
The pinstriped dudes on the sidelines are the referees and it’s their job to call out screw-ups that are made. Knowing why they’re waving their hands is important to know what’s going on without depending on the muffled voice coming from the speakers.