American football, known in the United States simply as football, is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone by running with it or throwing it to a teammate. Points can be scored by carrying the ball over the opponent's goal line, catching a pass thrown over that goal line, kicking the ball through the opponent's goal posts or tackling an opposing ball carrier in his own end zone.
In the United States, the major forms are high school football, college football and professional football. Each of these are played under slightly different rules. High school football is governed by the National Federation of State High School Associations and college football by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The highest level league for professional football is the National Football League.
American football is closely related to Canadian football but with some differences in rules and the field. Both sports can be traced to early versions of association and rugby football.
Famous quotes containing the words american and/or football:
“There is hardly an American male of my generation who has not at one time or another tried to master the victory cry of the great ape as it issued from the androgynous chest of Johnny Weissmuller, to the accompaniment of thousands of arms and legs snapping during attempts to swing from tree to tree in the backyards of the Republic.”
—Gore Vidal (b. 1925)
“In football they measure forty-yard sprints. Nobody runs forty yards in basketball. Maybe you run the ninety-four feet of the court; then you stop, not on a dime, but on Miss Libertys torch. In football you run over somebodys face.”
—Donald Hall (b. 1928)