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A Rookies Guide To American Football

The new sporting phenomenon within the UK, the popularity of American Football has grown faster than any other sport has within the past decade. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick’s stronghold over the Lombardi Trophy has led to an era of New England Patriots fans joining the likes of the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers who were the golden boys of the 1980s when the NFL last saw such an era of dominance in the UK sporting marketplace. 2018 saw a first time champion in the Philadelphia Eagles and with another off-season of shrewd personnel moves they certainly aren’t a team to rule out to retain their crown in Atlanta in 2019!

It is our pleasure here at Finders Keepers to organise trips for you to see today’s heroes of the game, either in the home of the game or when the NFL makes its yearly trip to London for its London Series (Click here for more information).


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A Rookies Guide To American Football


The Basics

One 11-man team has possession of the football and are called the Offense. They try and advance the ball down the field, either by the Quaterback throwing the ball to his Wide Receivers, or handing the ball off to his Running Back.  Points are scored by crossing the goal line and getting into the area called the End Zone. Whilst the offense are trying to advance the ball, the Defense are trying to regain possession of the ball for their offense. If they get into the end zone, the ball is given to other team’s offense and it is their turn to try and score.



Games are split into four 15-minute quarters, with a 12 minute break between quarters 2 and 3 and a 2 minute break between the other quarters. The second half starts with a kickoff in the same way as the game begins, whereas the team in possession at the ends of Q1 and Q3 retain possession. The offensive team has 40 seconds from the end of a given play until they must start the next or they will be penalized. Unlike Football, the clock stops at the end of incomplete passing plays, when a player goes out of bounds, or when there is a penalty. The ball will then be re-spotted by an official. Should the game be tied after 60-minutes, a 15-minute overtime period is played, and in this the team to score the first touchdown wins.

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