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.
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.
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.