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Verbal commands or hand signals used by the Quarterback to let his teammates know of a change of play.


The area behind the line of scrimmage.


A sudden charge by the defensive team to try and tackle the quarterback down.


The act of preventing (they may use their body and their arms but may not hold the opponent) the defensive team from getting to the ball carrier.


An offensive play by the quarterback where he fakes a pass while running with the ball concealed against the hip.


The center stands between the guards and the offensive line on the line of scrimmage and snaps the ball to the quarterback. He is the only one allowed to be in the neutral zone. 


Cheerleaders motivate the players and entertain spectators during the breaks by leading the cheers.


An illegal block by an opponent below the waist from behind.


Usually the quickest defensive players, one of two defensive halfbacks.

Dance Team

See "Cheerleader"

Dead Ball

When the ball is not in play, because of instructions from the referee or at the end of the game.


The team or players trying to stop the opposition from scoring.

Defensive Tackle

A defensive player who's duty it is to hold the point of attack or block the offensive linesmen on running a play. 


When the ball carrier throws himself over the line of scrimmage.


A series of four plays within which the offensive team must gain ten yards in order to retain possession of the ball. 


See “Plays”

End Zone

A section at both ends of the playing zone. If the player in possession of the ball reaches the end zone he has scored a touch down.

Face Mask

A foul for grabbing an opponent by the mask.

Fair Catch

A catch of a punt or kick off by a receiving player who has signalled he will not run and it is illegal for the opposition to tackle him.


A deceptive move intended to mislead the opposing team

Field Goal

A score made by kicking the ball over the opposing team's cross bar and between the goal posts. 


The ball used to play American Football.

Forward Pass

A pass from behind the line of scrimmage to a  receiver closer to the  opponent's goal line.


When an offensive player loses possession of the ball before a play ends.

Goal Line

Divides the end zone from the playing field. 


Part of the offensive line; these players make way for the running backs and defend the quarterback.


The act of giving the ball to another player.

Hang Time

The time that a punted ball is in the air.

Hash Marks

Parallel lines running lengthwise down the field.

Head Coach

The head coach runs the team and is in charge of all the other coaches.


The player who must catch the ball and hold it in a good kicking position for the place kicker.  


A foul where a player keeps another from advancing by grabbing onto any part of his body or uniform; only the ball carrier is allowed to be held back.


When the players on the field discuss the strategy for an upcoming play.

I- Formation

An offensive formation where the two running backs line up directly behind the quarterbackso that it looks like an "i".

Intentional Grounding

When the quarterback purposely throws the ball out of bounds or into the ground to avoid being hit by a defensive player. 


When a defensive player gains possession of the ball by catching a pass in the air.


The start of a football game.


The player who kicks off.


A sideways or backward pass.

Line of Gain

Marks the elbowroom that has to be achieved.

Line of Scrimmage

An imaginary line which may only be transcended after the ball was passed from the Center to the Quarterback.


When an offensive player running parallel to the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped.

Nose Tackle

The defensive player who lines up directly across from the center.


The attacking players try to block out the opponents and so hinder them from gaining elbowroom.


An extra period added at the end of a game if the regulation ends in a tie.

Pass Interference

Illegally hindering another player from catching a forward pass.

Pass Pattern

Predetermined paths followed by the receiver so that the passer can locate and get the ball to him quickly.  

Pass Rush

An attempt by the defenders to get to the quarterback before he can complete the pass.

Personal Foul

An act that is deemed to be an unnecessary risk to the health of the other players.  

Play- Action Pass

A passing play after the quarterback fakes a hand-off to the running back.


A sequence of moves of a team without a turnover.


The area behind the defensive line, where the quarterback is protected by the  blockers when he drops back to pass.


The most important player of the offense; his task is to realise the planned move.

Red Zone

Between the end zone and the 20-yard-line; the offense’s chance for scoring is relatively high here.


The chief official who directs the other officials on the field; he is one of seven officials. 


An offensive play in which the back running one way hands the ball off to a back running in the opposite direction in order to mislead the opposition.


A player in his first season playing for a professional league.

Running Back

An offensive player who advances the ball by running with it.


To tackle the quarterback attempting to pass the ball behind the line of scrimmage.  

Screen Pass

A short forward pass to a receiver just behind the line of scrimmage protected by blockers.  


A offensive passing formation in which the quarterback receives the snap several yards behind the center.


The passing of the football from center to back to start play.


An offensive play where the quarterback gets the ball from the center and immediately runs forward.

Super bowl

The final of the NFL (National Football League) and the most important TV-event in the U.S.

Tight End

An offensive player who is used as blocker or as a receiver.

Time Out

A break in game play.


The team either has to carry the football across the opponent’s goal line or catch it in the end zone.


The illegal used of a leg or foot to trip a player not in possession of the ball.


The loss of possession of the ball by one team or another (usually the result of a fumble or interception).

Two- Minute Warning

When the official signals at the end of each half that that are only two minutes remaining in the game.

Wide Receiver

An offensive player whose primary job it is to receive passes from the quarterback.

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