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Football Beginner Guide - Basics, Rules, Definitions etc.

  • 24-01-2005 12:59pm
    #1
    Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,567 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Neil3030


    My first port of call for the total beginner would be this video on BBC:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/american_football/3192002.stm

    which goes through a very clear summary of the basic objectives of the game of football. There's also a nice snapshot summary of terms like downs, plays, positions and scoring underneath the video.


    This is probably the best site that I have come across that suit users that may have watched the odd game, but are wondering what a certain term used means, eg. blitz, screen, pocket etc. Very useful and has most if not all definitions you need are here:

    http://football.about.com/od/football101/l/bl_glossary.htm


    As your knowledge and experience in viewing of the game increases you will find yourself in need of explaination of more technical aspects of the game.
    The official NFL rulebook can be found here:

    http://www.nfl.com/rulebook

    It's the guidelines the referees must follow so as you could imagine it is quite maticulous and confusing in places!


    But as with anything, experience is the key. NFL games are shown live every Sunday (and some Saturdays) on Sky Sports Extra, and sometimes on Sky Sports 1,2 or 3. Watch games, preferrably in the company of someone with a bit of experience in the game to probe when needed. Failing that, have your PC nearby to consult the A-Z!


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Comments

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,567 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Neil3030


    QUARTER-BACK RATING:

    You may have heard this being mentioned. The NFL has been rating quarterbacks since the sixties. A mathematical formula was adopted in 1973 and tends to give solid, consistent rating figures. The present system computes scores in four different categories and then the four scores are compiled into a composite rating score.

    If anyone was wondering how it is calculated:

    Step 1: Completions
    ((Passes Completed / Passes Attempted) - 0.3) / 0.2

    Step 2: Yardage
    ((Total Pass Yardage / Passes Attempted) - 3) / 4

    Step 3: Touchdown Passes
    (Touchdown Passes Thrown / Total Passes Attempted) / 0.05

    Step 4: Interceptions
    (2.375 - (25 x Number of Interceptions / Total Passes))

    Step 5: Accumulating Score
    Add all four ratios together. (None should exceed 2.375. If it does, take ratio as 2.375)
    So:
    a+b+c+d
    x 100
    /6

    = QB Rating.

    Calculate stats with this online QB Calculator

    [edit]Error in formula spotted by Slow Coach[/edit]


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,219 ✭✭✭ Davey Devil


    http://ww2.nfl.com/history/chronology/1869-1910.html

    This is a good history lesson for people who are interested in how the game developed into what it is today.


  • Registered Users Posts: 605 Crania


    Where will i find out how the draft works?


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,567 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Neil3030


    The Draft works as follows:

    Anyone can enter the draft once three years have passed since the year of graduation from high-school. Though college football is not essential, you still must wait 3 years from high-school graduation, so obviously it makes sense to play college ball. Bob Hayes has been mentioned a few times on this site. He'd be an example of a player that did not play college ball, but was an Olympic (gold medal standard) sprinter, drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 60's.

    Upon declaring yourself in the draft you cannot go back to playing college ball, so it is strongly advised not to declare until you are certain your abilities are at their peak or, of course, if your maximum four years playing in college have ellapsed.

    The draft then takes place around April each year. Each team gets one pick from each round. The order of picks in each round is the same and allocated on the basis of a teams performance the previous year. Teams can trade picks from certain rounds if they wish (usually for or in part for players).

    For example, San Francisco will have first pick in every round of the 2005 draft because they had the worst record last year. Now let's say they wanted a player contracted at...ooooh....let's say... the Seahawks. They could negotiate a deal and say... ok we'll give you player x,y and the first pick in round 3 for him. Then the Seahawks would say "NO!! TAKE YOUR ASS BACK TO SAN FRANCISCO AND DO NOT INSULT THIS GREAT TEAM WITH YOUR PITIFUL PRESENCE FOR ONE SECOND LONGER!! OUR TEAM IS FLAWLESS AND IN NO NEED OF ALTERATION!!"*

    But let's say for one second that the Hawks were suffering from momentary lack of proper judgement and agreed to letting one of their fine athletes degrade himself by moving the 49ers, while accepting those 2 players and that round pick. When the third round of the draft came about, they'd have first pick and their original allocated pick in the draft, making a total of two.

    With regard the importance of the round system, it really has effect in two areas: the quality of the player and the money they will receive. First round picks, and more specifically the first 5 or 10 picks, will be the cream of the available. Also, the higher the round players are picked in, the more money they receive.

    The number of players in the draft always tends to exceed the amount of total picks so you will have the case of a wealth of players who don't quite make the cut. This is unfortunate but a fact of life. There is NFL Europe, the CFL or a career as a janitor to their disposal, so that's why it's always advised to play college ball, receive an education as a fall-back and play as many years as you can until you feel you are at your peak for the NFL.

    *actual conversation may differ.....slightly


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,893 ✭✭✭✭ Pherekydes


    Neil3030 wrote:
    Bob Hayes has been mentioned a few times on this site. He'd be an example of a player that did not play college ball, but was an Olympic (gold medal standard) sprinter, drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 60's.

    Hayes did play college ball. Do you think Dallas drafted him just because he was fast?
    •Hayes, a star halfback and kick returner for the Rattlers from 1960-64,

    NB The Rattlers are Florida A&M.

    He wasn't just a "gold medal standard" sprinter either; he was the fastest man in the world. His winning margin in '64 was the widest in Olympic history. It was because of him that the zone coverage was devised; before that it had been man-to-man.


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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,567 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Neil3030


    Hayes played college ball? Well I'll be...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 900 Dr_MaSoN


    this was a fair bit helpful

    seeing as i signed up for the dcu team..with only the know how i got from the madden games :rolleyes:


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,677 ✭✭✭✭ Mushy


    Good stuff here. What is that quiz that the new players have to do before the draft or around then? Its supposed to be so easy but one lad still failed it. This is possibly the worst description of anything in American football history but meh! 'Skins for Superbowl 07 :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,193 ✭✭✭✭ super_furry


    Is there anywhere in Dublin where you can actually get involved and play a game?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 164 ✭✭ TITAN #1


    SF

    Check out the www.iafs.co.uk site for a listing of all the teams.

    This is the last week of regular season games and the play-off will follow in 2 weeks folowed by the Shamrockbowl on the 20th August.

    There is also flag-football ,which is useful for learning the strategy and tactics without the contact.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 170 ✭✭ joe_elway


    Mushy wrote:
    Good stuff here. What is that quiz that the new players have to do before the draft or around then? Its supposed to be so easy but one lad still failed it. This is possibly the worst description of anything in American football history but meh! 'Skins for Superbowl 07 :D

    Wunderlich. I don't think it's a pass/fail job. It's more of an indicator of a problem or of someone being able to process information quickly, e.g. Steve Young aced it and I wouldn't be suprised if someone like Peyton Manning or Donavan McNabb did too. It doesn't mean you're going to be a great player, it's just one of the many tangibles that can be outweighed by the intengibles. The players also coach up on it like crazy thanks to their agents before the draft.

    I'd be worried if a QB didn't do really well in it, e.g. Vince Young. I'd be surprised if Mike Vick did well.... neither of these guys impress me in TV interviews. It's doubly worrying when a deffo 1st round QB does badly after all the prep they're likely to have had.

    As for other positions, you're probably looking for low scores rather than high ones, e.g. this person has a problem processing information and might not be able to absorb a playbook or gameplan.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,836 ✭✭✭ county


    just back from the states and i never thought i would say it but i really got into the game.looking forward to reading through the rules to better my knowledge.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 319 ✭✭ jamsieboy86


    Coach Stilo is good for beginners, I was looking at it last week. You might find it boring if you have some knowledge, interesting nonetheless.

    http://coachstilo.nfl.com


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2 prabir


    thanks dear, i am getting lots of information
    ==============
    Alphaderma and Enzyte


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,596 AIR-AUSSIE


    Found this website seems to be helpful.

    http://www.usafootball.com/articles/displayHomePage


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 134 ✭✭ viper.10


    saw a game when i was in the states. great atmosphere. a game you could really get into


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,369 ✭✭✭ UnitedIrishman


    Just got a few questions about the game could do with some help, would be grateful if anyone can answer - this season was pretty much my first full season (i.e. week in week out, reading reports and stats, highlights) watching NFL but had watched in patches over the last 5 years or so.

    Anyways, from searching around couple of things confusing me about the game so might aswell list them:

    1 - Play-calling: Someone had a good thread up there recently about what each of the calls in the huddles are i.e. I = I formation = QB 6.5yards away from line etc. But was watching Joe Montana's famous 'Black 59 Razor' audible call - is that just a nickname players would have on their calls?

    2 - When players are learning the playbook, we'll say a wide-receiver, and they hear the playcall in the huddle is that basically all they need to know? I know I haven't phrased that right but we'll say a team has 15 routes for a wide receiver, is there anything else that they need to do or know apart from run in that line?

    3 - The lockout, I have absolutely no idea what is going on despite trying to read up on it. In it's simple breakdown, is it just a case of the players not wanting an 18th game and a bigger share of the money?

    4 - Salary caps; I'm lost on this side of things. Are some teams caps bigger than others? How do they work? Is it on a yearly basis? Is there a way around the caps?

    5 - And lastly, when you talk about how teams line up at the line of scrimmage, say a guy is in shotgun (haven't a notion what that means by the way) or other positions - are you able to tell whether they're going to run or pass??

    Cheers for any help in advance.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,067 ✭✭✭ tallaghtoutlaws



    1 - Play-calling: Someone had a good thread up there recently about what each of the calls in the huddles are i.e. I = I formation = QB 6.5yards away from line etc. But was watching Joe Montana's famous 'Black 59 Razor' audible call - is that just a nickname players would have on their calls?

    I-Formation is actually the QB under centre and the FB 3-4 yards behind centre and the RB 6-7 yards back.

    As for playcalling Black 59 Razor is a combination pattern and the 5 was if I can remember an out and the 9 a fly. As for the black most likely just the name given to change the formation and the Razor again something to do with adjusting formation. I cant remember the play off hand. Some use razor as a motion call.

    Many coaches have many different ways of calling plays.
    2 - When players are learning the playbook, we'll say a wide-receiver, and they hear the playcall in the huddle is that basically all they need to know? I know I haven't phrased that right but we'll say a team has 15 routes for a wide receiver, is there anything else that they need to do or know apart from run in that line?

    Again it depends on the coach. I know many coaches will make the WR learn all of the playbook for the simple reason on run plays they have their own blocking scheme. But again it varies from team to team and coach to coach.
    3 - The lockout, I have absolutely no idea what is going on despite trying to read up on it. In it's simple breakdown, is it just a case of the players not wanting an 18th game and a bigger share of the money?

    Few posts in here http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2055820476 with good guides explaining all.
    4 - Salary caps; I'm lost on this side of things. Are some teams caps bigger than others? How do they work? Is it on a yearly basis? Is there a way around the caps?

    This will come off as a lazy response but Wiki explanation is pretty much spot on

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salary_cap#Salary_cap_in_the_NFL
    5 - And lastly, when you talk about how teams line up at the line of scrimmage, say a guy is in shotgun (haven't a notion what that means by the way) or other positions - are you able to tell whether they're going to run or pass??

    Shotgun just means the QB is standing behind centre from 3-6 yards depending on coach. You can run single back (1 RB) or split backs (2 RB) out of shotgun.

    When the QB is under the Centres a$$ he is under centre.

    As for knowing what they are running, the formation wont always give it away in fact with modern play calling the formation can be designed to trick you into defending one and not the other. Things like play action passes out of I-formation will show run first and then the QB passes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,369 ✭✭✭ UnitedIrishman


    Cheers for that lad, think I need to pick up a copy of 'American Football for Dummies' or something though because half of it went way over my head. And it's mainly because I know very very little about formations and plays i.e what does the Nickle; 4-3, etc formations mean. It's probably no wonder I've gotten my arse handed to me in the Madden online franchise!

    Any ideas on wheres the best to start?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,067 ✭✭✭ tallaghtoutlaws


    Cheers for that lad, think I need to pick up a copy of 'American Football for Dummies' or something though because half of it went way over my head. And it's mainly because I know very very little about formations and plays i.e what does the Nickle; 4-3, etc formations mean. It's probably no wonder I've gotten my arse handed to me in the Madden online franchise!

    Any ideas on wheres the best to start?

    Defensive Formations:

    3-4 Defense = 3 D Line and 4 Linebackers with 4 DBs

    4-3 Defense = 4 D Line and 3 Linebackers with 4 DBs

    Nickel = 3 D Line and 3 Linebackers and 5 DBs

    Dime = 6 DBs and varies between 4 down linemen and 1 linebacker or 3 down linemen and 2 linebackers

    There are other defensive fronts. Best way to read them i.e is front number linemen and second number Linebackers and the remainder is DBs.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,067 ✭✭✭ tallaghtoutlaws


    http://www.amazon.com/Football-Utterly-Confused-Tom-Flores/dp/0071628584/ref=sr_1_15?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1298416588&sr=1-15

    Books like this can be handy enough or websites like youtube and ehow and others like it. If you throw your question into google its mad how much info there is out there. You may even find certain books for free ye know ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,369 ✭✭✭ UnitedIrishman


    Defensive Formations:

    3-4 Defense = 3 D Line and 4 Linebackers with 4 DBs

    4-3 Defense = 4 D Line and 3 Linebackers with 4 DBs

    Nickel = 3 D Line and 3 Linebackers and 5 DBs

    Dime = 6 DBs and varies between 4 down linemen and 1 linebacker or 3 down linemen and 2 linebackers

    There are other defensive fronts. Best way to read them i.e is front number linemen and second number Linebackers and the remainder is DBs.

    Ah, makes sense now and obviously the play you call will determine whether the linebackers rush the QB or just cover etc.

    It's mainly the defensive positions I've been struggling with thus far and it's mostly why I didn't pick up any of the defensive players names last year other than the likes of Matthews and Lewis because half the time I didn't know what they were meant to be doing exactly.

    Think I'll just have to keep reading Wiki and other sources to pick it up because I'm really interested in the tactical side of the game - because it's a game that a lot can be won on the sideline.

    Cheers TO.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,067 ✭✭✭ tallaghtoutlaws


    Ah, makes sense now and obviously the play you call will determine whether the linebackers rush the QB or just cover etc.

    It's mainly the defensive positions I've been struggling with thus far and it's mostly why I didn't pick up any of the defensive players names last year other than the likes of Matthews and Lewis because half the time I didn't know what they were meant to be doing exactly.

    Think I'll just have to keep reading Wiki and other sources to pick it up because I'm really interested in the tactical side of the game - because it's a game that a lot can be won on the sideline.

    Cheers TO.

    Out of curiosity where do you live?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,369 ✭✭✭ UnitedIrishman


    Out of curiosity where do you live?

    Mayo unfortunately, a million miles away from all the Irish clubs currently going. But I might have moved elsewhere by next September depending on if I go for college or not, or wait until next year.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 164 ✭✭ TITAN #1


    The Erris Rams were Mayos only ever team, RIP.

    There are some teams starting up in Galway at present.

    Maybe not a million miles away.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,500 ReacherCreature


    TITAN #1 wrote: »
    The Erris Rams were Mayos only ever team, RIP.

    Out of interest, what happened?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,067 ✭✭✭ tallaghtoutlaws


    Out of interest, what happened?

    Distance and location I think. They played away from any of the big towns so it was taking some of their players the best of an hour to get to games. Now I could be wrong but thats what I heard. Some talented players on that team though sad to see them disband.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,500 ReacherCreature


    Distance and location I think. They played away from any of the big towns so it was taking some of their players the best of an hour to get to games. Now I could be wrong but thats what I heard. Some talented players on that team though sad to see them disband.

    Shame. When I saw that there was a Mayo team, they came along with one or two others and was the right step for the league.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,339 me-skywalker


    Ah, makes sense now and obviously the play you call will determine whether the linebackers rush the QB or just cover etc.

    It's mainly the defensive positions I've been struggling with thus far and it's mostly why I didn't pick up any of the defensive players names last year other than the likes of Matthews and Lewis because half the time I didn't know what they were meant to be doing exactly.

    Think I'll just have to keep reading Wiki and other sources to pick it up because I'm really interested in the tactical side of the game - because it's a game that a lot can be won on the sideline.

    Cheers TO.

    I like to use a Chess analogy with the movement and roles of some of the players and positions. I find the tactical side unbelievably dense and love the anaylsis of plays and the actual improvisation during game that QB's/Coaches will make.

    As regards Madden Online I always use a screen pass and counter run as my get outta jail players they always seem to have penetration as the opponent will get itchy fingers adn wanna rush the middle.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10 ✭✭✭ nightowlzaphod


    I've been learning about NFL from here http://www.betdaqnfl.com/beginners-guide-to-nfl/

    It's betting based but they're Irish and they do video previews of all the games , worth a look.


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