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Football Glossary Of Terms And Definitions

Football Terms

Understanding the terminology in football can be confusing. There is a lot of lingo, and all of the information builds on top of the basics. We've compiled a list of terms you should know in a variety of situations.

Coaching Terms

Here are some terms about strategy and techniques used by coaches in all football levels.

Zone: A type of defensive alignment where defensive players are positioned on areas of the field.

3-4 Defense: A defensive formation that includes three linemen and four linebackers.

Strong Side: The side of the field that the offensive tight end position is on.

Blitz: A strategy where defensive players run towards the quarterback in hopes of getting a sack and loss of yards.

Challenge Flag: An ability a coach has to challenge the previous play and a call made by an official.

False Start: A 5-yard penalty given to any player who crosses the line of scrimmage prior to the snap.

Turnover: A loss of possession where teams switch from offense to defense and vice versa. A fumble, interception, and a turnover on downs are all considered turnovers.

Terms For NFL Games

If you're watching an NFL game, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the following terminology.

NFL Franchise Team: One of 32 teams in the National Football League.

Offense: The team with the ball that is trying to score a touchdown.

Defense: The team that doesn't have the ball and is trying to force a turnover.

Special Teams: One of three units of players that perform all kicks and returns in football.

Scrimmage Down: A scrimmage down is one of four chances the offense has to reach the yellow line.

Kickoff: A kickoff is used to put the ball into play at the start of each half, overtime, and after every score.

Return: A return is when a player catches a punt or kickoff and runs with it towards the opposing team's end zone.

Touchdown: A touchdown is worth six points and happens when the offense brings the ball into the opposing team's end zone.

Field Goal Range: A team is in field goal range if they are within 53 yards of the goal post.

Football Lingo

Here is some lingo that you should know if you're going to watch a football game.

Drive: A term that describes what the offense does when they have the ball in their possession before the turnover or score.

Red Zone: 20 yards or closer to the opposing team's end zone, where a team has a high chance of scoring points.

Kick is Good: When a field goal or extra attempt is made by a kicker, the referee's will hold their hands in the air.

QB-Sneak: When the quarterback takes the ball and runs with it himself on the field.

Down and Distance: A term that describes the current down out of four, and the distance to the first down line.

Gain of Yards: When the offense earns more yards on the play and moves closer to the opposing team's end zone.

No Gain: When the offense neither gains nor loses yards on the play and the blue line stays right where it is on the field.

Loss of Yards: When the offense loses yards on the play.

Pocket: When the offensive linemen surround the quarterback and shield him from danger.