2-Point Conversion –
Following a touchdown, a team can opt to try for 2 pts by executing a play from scrimmage with the football spotted at the 3 yard line in college football and at the 2 yard line in the NFL.
An ‘idiom’ used in football to describe any number of “assets” that can aid a team in achieving the ultimate goal of scoring a touchdown and winning a game.
Assistant Coaches –
Refers to any number of coaches who work under a “head coach”, and who have a particular responsibility, i.e. defensive coordinator; special teams coach; quarterback coach.
When a quarterback calls an ‘audible’ he is changing the original play called in the huddle while he is at the line of scrimmage and before the football is snapped by the center.
Refers to players on offense who line up behind the offensive line. This usually includes the quarterback and running backs.
Stands for “Bowl Championship Series”. This is a committee that ranks college football teams and determines which teams will compete in highly competitive bowl games. The BCS also determines which two college teams will compete for the national championship.
A defensive scheme where a majority of players are purposely trying to sack the quarterback as quickly as possible.
The act or intention of one player blocking another player from tackling whomever has possession of the football.
A term referring to a long pass downfield from a quarterback to a receiver. A bomb is usually considered to be pass of a minimum of 40 yards in length.
Bowl Game –
A college football game following the ‘regular season’ in which two teams are invited to play in front of a large audience at a supposedly neutral site.
Chain Crew –
A group responsible for displaying the distance needed for a “first –down”. The chain crew also moves the chains as the ball changes position up and down the football field.
Chop Block –
An illegal and potentially dangerous block where two players from the same team hit an opposing player in the upper body and lower body in a non-simultaneous manner.
Refers to a division or group of teams. At the collegiate level, conferences are usually divided in a regional manner. At the professional level, the total number of teams are divided up and placed in one of two conferences
Dead Ball Foul –
A penalty committed by a player or coach after a whistle is blown and a play is considered to be over.
Refers to the 11 players who are NOT in possession of the football. The defense attempts to reclaim possession of the football and tries to keep the opponent from scoring.
Refers to a moment when the path of the football is altered by coming into contact with a player or part of a player’s uniform.
Players on defense that line up at the line of scrimmage prior to a snap.
Similar to an offside penalty, committed by a defensive player.
End Line –
Refers to a white-chalked line defining the back boundary of any end zone.
End Zone –
Each football field contains 2 end zones on opposite ends of a football field. End zones are separated by a distance of 100 yards. The size of an end zone is 10 yards from the goal line to the end line.
Extra Point –
Refers to a 1 point conversion achieved by kicking the football through the goal post immediately following a touchdown.
Fair Catch –
Occurs when a player attempting to catch a ball kicked by the opposing team; either on a ‘kickoff’ or a ‘punt’, is permitted to catch said ball without interference from any member of the kicking team.
False Start –
A common penalty of five yards, assessed when a player on offense moves or wiggles inadvertently before the football is snapped. Certain offensive players must be completely still prior to the snap of the football.
Field Goal –
A field goal is made when a kicker kicks the football from a certain distance through the uprights of the goal posts. A successful field goal results in 3 points.
First Down –
A first down is achieved when a team takes over possession of the football following a score and ensuing kickoff, a punt, or a turnover. A team then must advance the football a minimum of 10 yards in order to achieve a new “first down” and maintain possession of the football.
A yellow cloth used by football officials to indicate that a penalty has been committed.
The area of the field extending 10 yards into the defensive backfield from the original line of scrimmage.
Forward Pass –
A football that is thrown downfield by an eligible player. Only one forward pass is allowed on any single play from scrimmage.
A running back, customarily utilized in short yardage situations.
When a player, who has possession of the football, loses possession of the football.
Goal Line –
The “Zero” yard line, marked off in white chalk, representing a ‘plane’ that must be broken by the nose of the football in order to achieve a touchdown or 2 point conversion.
Goal Post –
Also referred to as “uprights”. The goal post is located on the end line of an end zone and is the structure that a football must pass through in order to achieve an extra point or field goal.
Hail Mary –
An ‘idiom’ used in football where a quarterback heaves the ball towards the end zone in an act of desperation as time in the game or half expires.
Denotes the halfway point of a given football game, when both teams return to their respective locker rooms for 15 minutes.
Describes a play from scrimmage when a quarterback hands the ball to a running back in the hopes of advancing the ball down the field.
Hash Mark –
Short, white-chalked lines that run perpendicular to sidelines used to mark locations of where a football was or should be spotted or placed.
Head Coach –
The highest ranking coach on a given football team who is responsible for all assistant coaches and players on a team.
Term used to describe the manner in which a team gathers together in a tight circle, in order to plan and strategize for an upcoming play.
Occurs when a football is thrown in the air and caught by a member of the opposing team. This results in a ‘turnover’, and loss of possession.
All collegiate and professional football games begin with one team kicking the ball off to the opposing team. Kickoffs also occur following a touchdown or successful field goal attempt.
Refers to a situation where a football is passed parallel to the line of scrimmage instead of a forward pass which is thrown downfield. A team can lateral a football an unlimited number of times during any given play.
Line of Scrimmage –
An imaginary line where a given play begins, beyond which a team cannot cross until the ball has been snapped and the play has actually begun. The line of scrimmage is determined by the officials by spotting the football after the conclusion of the most recent play to occur.
Live Ball Foul –
A penalty committed by a player during an actual play.
Term used to describe a situation where a ball is spotted in close proximity to the first down marker as denoted by the ‘chain crew’. In these instances, the official calls a timeout in order to actually use the chains to determine whether a team has achieved a first down or not.
The dropping of a ball that has been kicked or handed off where the ball is considered to be a live ball, and thus the defensive team can in fact attempt to achieve possession of the football.
National Collegiate Athletic Association, the governing body of 1,281 collegiate institutions. The NCAA was formed in 1910.
Referring to the 11 players that ARE in possession of the football.
In collegiate and professional football, a group of seven officials are empowered with jurisdiction over a particular game, for the purpose of enforcing the rules and regulations of each and every game played. An officiating crew is headed by the ‘referee’. In addition to the referee, there is an umpire, a line judge, a head linesman, a side judge, a field judge, and a back judge.
A common penalty usually committed when a member of a defensive line commits himself towards the offensive line before the ball is snapped.
Players on offense who line up at the line of scrimmage prior to a snap
Onside kick –
A type of ‘kick off’ used for the purpose of trickery or desperation; whereas the kicker just lightly taps the ball with his foot, causing it to travel in an unpredictable manner in an attempt by the kicking team to try and secure possession of the ball. An onside kick must travel at least 10 yards to be considered legal.
A play that may resemble a running play where a running back or quarterback begins to run downfield before pitching the ball either laterally or backward to an eligible teammate.
Refers to an extra amount of time allotted to determine the winner of a particular game when two teams are tied at the end of the 60 minute regulation time.
Penalty – An infraction committed by a player or coach on either team, which can result in the loss of yards or downs.
An idiom for an ‘interception’ describing a situation where a passed football is caught by a member of the opposing team.
A slang term used to describe an interception that is run back for a touchdown.
Describes a football that is thrown laterally or backwards to an eligible teammate.
Play Action Pass –
A play designed to fool a defense by faking the handing off of the football while actually intending to pass the football downfield.
Pooch kick –
A low, line drive of a kick intended to not travel far and bounce around before being picked up by a member of the opposition. This kick is most often performed by a punter or a quarterback.
Term used to describe the act of possessing or being in possession of the football.
A type of kick used when a team has not successfully advanced the football for a ‘first down’. This kick is often attempted by a specialist called a punter, and furthermore, the punter attempts to kick the ball high and deep into the opposing team’s side of the field.
There are four, 15 minute quarters in all collegiate and professional football games.
The designated leader of a teams’ offensive unit who is responsible for calling and executing designed plays.
A player who is designated as one who is to receive the ball downfield, usually by catching a thrown pass from a quarterback.
1) A two point scoring play in which a player on the offensive team, who is in possession of the football is tackled in his own end zone, or if a football travels to the back and out of an offensive team’s own end zone; 2) A specialized defensive player who tries to guard and protect against long passes thrown downfield.
Refers to players on defense who play anywhere from 7 to 10 yards off the line of scrimmage. Players in the ‘secondary’ have the job to tackle a runner who gets past the defensive line, and to guard against passes thrown downfield.
An offensive scheme where the quarterback stands 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage in an attempt to buy time from onrushing defensive players.
Refers to the ball being put into play when the ‘center’ swings the ball back into the hands of the quarterback. A center may perform a ‘long snap’ to a quarterback in the ‘shotgun’ position, a punter standing 10 to 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage, or a kick holder standing 7 yards behind the line of scrimmage for a field goal attempt.
Squib Kick –
A type of kick that is kicked low and hard so that it may bounce around before being picked up by a member of the opposing team.
Special Teams –
Term referring to the kicking, punting, field goal units and kick return and punt return units on any college or professional team.
Idiom used to describe when a player, who has just scored a touchdown, takes the football and slams it into the ground.
The exact place on the football field where the officials have placed the football in anticipation of the ensuing play.
A running back, lining up behind the line of scrimmage that is relied upon to use his speed and agility in an attempt to advance the football.
Situation where the game clock is stopped, either by an official, head coach, or player on the football field.
A scoring play resulting in 6 points.
Term used to describe when a team loses possession of the football by way of a muff, fumble, or interception.
Part of the goal post, the uprights are two vertical posts lying above the crossbar.
Yards To Gain –
The number of yards needed on each and every given play, in order to secure a ‘first down’.
Slang term referring to the football officials who wear black and white striped uniforms.