American football is an extremely competitive sport and it is immensely popular in the United States where it is simply known as football. American football is widely popular for the physical roughness and the high level of strategies that are present in its game play. Today, American football is best known as the country's national pastime. It has been seen that around 43% of the citizens prefer watching the game which is the highest rate over any other sports.
National Football League Championship is a major event for all the football lovers of America where it is regarded as an unofficial national holiday. American Football is commonly known as Gridiron football in the countries like Australia and New Zealand.
The pointed oval shaped ball is the speciality of the American Football where winning is determined on points scored by the players. The ball is used throughout the game either by carrying it while running or throwing it to the team mates. Points are scored using a number of ways in the American Football such as carrying the ball to the line that is denoted as the goal line and by kicking the ball towards the goalpost.
American football is played in a field that is 120 yard long with a width of 160 feet. Hash marks are known as the inbound lines that are parallel to he side lines situated at the middle of the field. The game typically starts off by the ball being placed on the hash mark. Each team is consisted of 11 players in the field and they can also be substituted by other players of the respective team. The length of the game consists of four quarters each with duration of 15 minutes with a half time interval after the end of 2nd quarter. The winning group is determined as the team that has scored the most.
The history of American Football has been estimated to have dated back to the early 1800s. Originally the game has directly been instigated from another widely popular sport known as rugby football. When several teams from various schools of the Eastern part of the United States combined to make an attempt to move an inflated ball past a line in order to gain points, American Football was first initiated in the country. However, the game play and the rules were varied from today's modern NFL matches. After a period of confusions and inconsistent game play of the sport, it was during 1873 that major institutes of the country such as Yale, Rutgers, Princeton and Columbia combined together to formulate and set rules for the sport under which allschools were expected to follow.
However, it was not before 1875 that Americans captured the real American Football sport that was played between Harvard University and Tufts University. By the year 1912, American Football achieved its modern form which we watch today at NFL. One of the many reasons for which american Football has been differentiated from the Rugby football is the risks that are associated with the game. With the turn of the 20th century American Football was received major transformations such as the addition of helmets among the players and the abolishment of dangerous formations like flying wedges.
American Football League (AFL) was a professional Football association of the country that operated from 1960 till 1969. AFL has been actively involved in various events that are related to the sport and was a direct rival to the more established NFL. However, it was during 1969 that AFL played its last season as an individual league and combined officially during 1970 with NFL. Along with the merging of the two major Leagues, all the existing 10 AFL franchises as well as their statistics became a part of NFL. But as the legacy says, AFL is still seen as the sole football league that could successfully contend against the NFL. A number of ideas have been adopted from the AFL by the NFL which includes the names on the players' jerseys and profits sharing of gate and television receipts.