In Canada, the term football may refer to Canadian football and American football collectively, or to either sport specifically, depending on context. The two sports have shared origins and are related but have significant differences. Rugby football in Canada originated in the early 1860s, and over time, active teams such as the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats have similar longevity. The CFL is the most popular and only major professional Canadian football league and its championship game, the Grey Cup, is one of Canadas largest sporting events, attracting a broad television audience, though it has been shrinking in recent years. In 2009, about 40% of Canadas population watched part of the game, in 2014, it was closer to 33%, great achievements in Canadian football are enshrined in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame located in Hamilton, Ontario. Other organizations across Canada perform senior league Canadian football during the summer, the first documented football match was a practice game played on November 9,1861, at University College, University of Toronto.
One of the participants in the game involving University of Toronto students was Sir William Mulock, a football club was formed at the university soon afterward, although its rules of play at this stage are unclear. The first written account of a game played was on October 15,1862 and it was between the First Battalion Grenadier Guards and the Second Battalion Scots Fusilier Guards resulting in a win by the Grenadier Guards 3 goals,2 rouges to nothing. In 1864, at Trinity College, Toronto, F. Barlow Cumberland, Frederick A. Bethune, the game gradually gained a following, with the Hamilton Football Club formed on November 3,1869. Montreal formed a team April 8,1872, Toronto was formed on October 4,1873, and this rugby-football soon became popular at Montreals McGill University. McGill challenged Harvard University to a game, in 1874 using a game of English rugby devised by the University of McGill. Later both the Ontario and Quebec Rugby Football Union were formed, and the Interprovincial and Western Interprovincial Football Union, the CRFU reorganized into an umbrella organization forming the Canadian Rugby Union in 1891.
The original forerunners to the current Canadian Football League, was established in 1956 when the IRFU and WIFU formed an umbrella organization, and in 1958 the CFC left The CRFU to become the CFL. The Burnside rules closely resembling American football that were incorporated in 1903 by The ORFU, was an effort to distinguish it from a more rugby-oriented game, the rules were an attempt to standardize the rules throughout the country. The CIRFU, QRFU and CRU refused to adopt the new rules at first, the primary differences between the Canadian and American games stem from rule changes that the American side of the border adopted but the Canadian side did not. The Canadian field width was one rule that was not based on American rules, as the Canadian game was played in wider fields, initially an amateur competition, it eventually became dominated by professional teams in the 1940s and early 1950s. The Ontario Rugby Football Union, the last amateur organization to compete for the trophy, the move ushered in the modern era of Canadian professional football.
Canadian football has mostly been confined to Canada, with the United States being the other country to have hosted high-level Canadian football games
In gridiron football, a dual-threat quarterback, known as a running quarterback, is a quarterback who possesses the skills and physique to run with the ball if necessary. Typically a dual threat qb will put up more than 300 yards per year in the NFL, with the rise of several blitz heavy defensive schemes and increasingly faster defensive players, the importance of a mobile quarterback has been redefined. Overall, the quarterback has been referred to as the most complex position in sports by Bleacher Report. Dual-threat quarterbacks have historically been more prolific at the college level and this type of offense forces defenders to commit to either the running back up the middle, the quarterback around the end, or the running back trailing the quarterback. It is that the quarterback has the option to identify which match up is most favorable to the offense as the play unfolds, in the college game, many schools employ several plays that are designed for the quarterback to run with the ball.
This is much less common in football, except for a quarterback sneak. Historically, dual threat quarterbacks in the National Football League were uncommon, in recent years, quarterbacks with dual-threat capabilities have become more popular. Current NFL quarterbacks considered to be dual-threat include Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, and Tyrod Taylor. In the 1950s, Tobin Rote, was a example of a dual-threat quarterback, as he led the Green Bay Packers in rushing in 3 seasons. As of the 2015 NFL season, Rote still ranks 9th all time in rushing yards for a quarterback, the next decade, saw Fran Tarkenton impact the game in both passing and running aspects. Tarkenton writes, When I began my NFL career in 1961, the reason was simple, I played quarterback and I ran. There were no designed runs in our playbook, but I would scramble out of the pocket when a play broke down, Tarkenton adds by describing the reaction to his scrambling at the time, It was not a skill set that was embraced.
Plenty of people mocked it, and the rest wrote it off, at the time of his retirement, Tarkenton was the all-time leader in rushing yards by a quarterback, with 3,674. In 1972, Chicago Bears quarterback Bobby Douglass set the single-season rushing yards record for a quarterback, however, was not considered a good passer, as his receivers complained his arm strength was, too strong, as he often overthrew the ball. The Bears attempted to create wild schemes, before discovering his rushing ability, during the 1980s and 90s, dual-threat quarterbacks were more frequently seen than in previous decades. Randall Cunningham and Steve Young were the faces of rushing quarterbacks during this era, Cunningham was able to exceed Young in statistical regards. On October 18,1992, Cunningham surpassed Tarkentons record for rushing yards by a quarterback. Following the 2001 NFL season, Cunningham retired with a then-record 4,928 rushing yards, despite Cunningham having more rushing yards, Young holds the record for most career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback, with 43
A defensive tackle is typically the largest and strongest of the defensive players in American football. The defensive tackle lines up opposite one of the offensive guards. Depending on a teams defensive scheme, a defensive tackle may be called upon to fill several different roles. These roles may include holding the point of attack by refusing to be moved or penetrating a certain gap between offensive linemen to break up a play in the opponents backfield. If a defensive tackle reads a play, his primary responsibility is to pursue the quarterback. Other responsibilities of the tackle may be to pursue the screen pass or drop into coverage in a zone blitz scheme. In a traditional 4–3 defensive set, there is no nose tackle, instead there is a left and right defensive tackle. Some teams especially in the NFL do have a nose tackle in this scheme, nose tackle is a defensive alignment position for a defensive lineman. In the 3–4 defensive scheme the sole defensive tackle is referred to as the nose tackle, the nose tackle aligns across the line of scrimmage from the offenses center before the play begins in the 0-technique position.
In this position, frequently taking on the center and at least one if not both of the guards, the tackle is considered to be the most physically demanding position in football. In five-linemen situations, such as a formation, the nose guard is the innermost lineman. Typical 3–4 nose tackles are big wide bodies who can hold the point of attack and force double teams by the guard and they are usually the heaviest players on the roster, with weights ranging from 325 to 375 pounds. Also, height is critical, as they are supposed to get under the offensive line, recent examples of such nose tackles include Ron Simmons, Casey Hampton, Jamal Williams, Gilbert Brown, Dontari Poe, and Vince Wilfork. Rather uncommon are taller nose tackles, such as Ted Washington and Maake Kemoeatu, in some 4–3 defensive set, the nose tackle is one of two defensive tackles. Some teams especially in the NFL do have a nose tackle in the 4–3 defensive set, in a 4–3 defensive set, nose tackles are rather quick and supposed to shoot the A gap and beat the center and very likely the weak-side or pulling guard into the backfield.
Height is not as important, and their weight is closer to 300 pounds, the terms nose guard or middle guard were more commonly used with the five-man defensive line of the older 5-2 defense. Effective against most plays of the day, but with a weakness to the short pass. In the 4-3 defense, the middle linebacker replaced the middle guard
Placekicker, or simply kicker, is the player in American and Canadian football who is responsible for the kicking duties of field goals and extra points. In many cases, the placekicker serves as the kickoff specialist or punter as well. The kicker initially was not a specialized role, george Blanda, Frank Gifford and Paul Hornung are prominent examples of players who were stars at other positions as well as being known for their kicking abilities. When the one-platoon system was abolished in the 1940s, the era of players gave way to increased specialization. Ben Agajanian, who started his career in 1945, was the first confirmed place-kicking specialist in the NFL. Because of the difference in techniques needed, to avoid leg fatigue, the placekicker usually will only punt when the punter is injured, and vice versa. A professional team will occasionally even have a kickoff specialist who handles only the kickoffs and serves as a backup to the kicker who handles field goals and extra points. This is typically done to protect a premier point-scoring kicker from injury or if he, while accurate.
Amateur teams often do not differentiate between placekickers and punters, have different players assume different placekicking duties, or have regular position players handle kicking duties, the last option is quite common on high school teams, when the best athletes are often the best kickers. Before the modern era of pro football, this was the case for professional teams and punters are often the lowest paid starters on professional teams, although proven placekickers sometimes earn over $1 million per year in salary. It is not uncommon for placekickers to be some of the smallest members of their team, The New York Times in 2011 wrote that NFL kickers had adopted year-round weight training and strict diets. Sebastian Janikowski that year was a 6-foot-2-inch and 250-pound kicker, kicker Rob Bironas, who was 6 feet and 205 pounds, noted, I might be bigger than some wide receivers and cornerbacks. The presence of foreign born-and-raised players in the highest levels of football has largely been limited to placekickers.
Notably Tom Landry recruited several players from Latin America, such as Efren Herrera and Raphael Septien. These anecdotes increase the perception of the placekicker as an outsider, the top 25 players in NFL history in career scoring are all placekickers. Stephen Gostkowski, of the New England Patriots, is the NFLs highest paid kicker, in the NFL, along with punters and quarterbacks, are among the only players allowed to wear single-digit uniform numbers, kickers can wear numbers between 10 and 19. In college and high school football, kickers can wear any number, the two players in documented football history to have worn the uniform number 100, Chuck Kinder and Bill Bell, were both placekickers. Previously, most placekickers used a straight on style, which required the use of a shoe that is extremely rigid and has a flattened
American football positions
In American football, each team has 11 players on the field at one time. The specific role that a player takes on the field is called his position, under the modern rules of American football, teams are allowed unlimited substitutions, that is, teams may change any number of players after any play. This has resulted in the development of three platoons of players, the offense, the defense, and the special teams, within those platoons, various specific positions exist depending on what each players main job is. In American football, the offense is the side in which the players have possession of the ball and it is their job to advance the ball towards the opponents end zone to score points. The backs and receivers are known as skill position players or as eligible receivers. Offensive linemen are not usually eligible to advance the ball past the line of scrimmage during a play, the organization of the offense is strictly mandated by the rules, there must be at least seven players on the line of scrimmage and no more than four players behind it.
The only players eligible to handle the ball during a play are the backs. The remaining players are considered ineligible, and may only block, within these strictures, creative coaches have developed a wide array of offensive formations to take advantage of different player skills and game situations. The following positions are standard in every game, though different teams will use different arrangements of them. The offensive line is responsible for blocking. The offensive line consists of, Center The center is the player who begins the play from scrimmage by snapping the ball to the quarterback. As the name suggests, the center usually plays in the middle of the offensive line, like all offensive linemen, the center has the responsibility to block defensive players. The center often has the responsibility to call out blocking assignments, offensive guard Two guards line up directly on either side of the center. Like all interior linemen, their function is to block on both running and passing plays, in such cases, the guard is referred to as a pulling guard.
Guards are typically shorter builds than tackles but taller than centers, offensive tackle Two tackles play outside of the guards. Their role is primarily to block on both running and passing plays, the area from one tackle to the other is an area of close line play in which blocks from behind, which are prohibited elsewhere on the field, are allowed. For a right-handed quarterback, the tackle is charged with protecting the quarterback from being hit from behind. Like a guard, the tackle may have to pull, on a running play, the six backs and receivers are those that line up outside or behind the offensive line
A quarterback is a position in American and Canadian football. Quarterbacks are members of the team and line up directly behind the offensive line. In modern American football, the quarterback is considered the leader of the offensive team. In modern American football, the quarterback is usually the leader of the offense, the quarterback touches the ball on almost every offensive play, and his successes and failures can have a significant impact on the fortunes of his team. Accordingly, the quarterback is among the most glorified and scrutinized positions in team sports, prior to each play, the quarterback will usually tell the rest of his team which play the team will run. After the team is lined up, the center will pass the ball back to the quarterback, usually on a running play, the quarterback will hand or pitch the ball backwards to a half back or full back. On a passing play, the quarterback is almost always the responsible for trying to throw the ball downfield to an eligible receiver downfield.
Depending on the scheme by his team, the quarterbacks role can vary. While quarterbacks in Canadian football need to be able to throw the ball often, in the NFL, quarterbacks are required to wear a uniform number between 1 and 19. In the CFL, the quarterback can wear any number from 0 to 49 and 70 to 99. Because of their numbering, quarterbacks are eligible receivers in the NCAA, NFHS, after a Super Bowl victory, the starting quarterback is the first player to be presented with the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The starting quarterback of the victorious Super Bowl team is chosen for the Im going to Disney World. Campaign, whether they are the Super Bowl MVP or not, examples include Joe Montana, Trent Dilfer, Dilfer was chosen even though teammate Ray Lewis was the MVP of Super Bowl XXXV, due to the bad publicity from Lewis murder trial the prior year. In addition to their role, quarterbacks are occasionally used in other roles. Most teams utilize a backup quarterback as their holder on placekicks, in the Wildcat, a formation where a halfback lines up behind the center and the quarterback lines up out wide, the quarterback can be used as a receiving target or a blocker.
A more rare use for a quarterback is to punt the ball himself, Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway was known to perform quick kicks occasionally, typically when the Broncos were facing a third-and-long situation. As Roger Staubachs back-up, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Danny White was the teams punter, ascending the starting role upon Staubachs retirement, White held his position as the teams punter for several seasons—a double duty he performed to All-American standard at Arizona State University. White had two touchdown receptions as a Dallas Cowboy, both from the halfback option, if quarterbacks are uncomfortable with the formation the defense is using, they may call an audible change to their play
Lineman (gridiron football)
In gridiron football, a lineman is a player who specializes in play at the line of scrimmage. The linemen of the currently in possession of the ball are the offensive line. A number of NFL rules specifically address restrictions and requirements for the offensive line, linemen are usually the largest players on the field in both height and weight, since their positions usually require less running and more strength than skill positions. An offensive linemans motion during a play is limited to just a few quick steps to establish position. Offensive linemen thus tend to be the largest players on the field, with excellent agility and balance, most pro and college football offensive lineman tend to weigh over 300 pounds. On passing plays, the line is responsible for stopping defensive players from tackling the quarterback before he has thrown the ball. The interior offensive line consists of the center, who is responsible for snapping the ball into play, in addition to the interior line, a full offensive line may include a Tight End outside one or both of the tackles.
However, ends are eligible to catch passes, when an offensive lineman knocks a player down on a block, leaving the defensive player lying flat on his back, it is colloquially known as a pancake block. When an offensive line has an number of men on either side of the center. The defensive line consists of one or two defensive tackles and two ends who play outside the defensive tackles. The defensive line works with the linebackers to try to control the line of scrimmage, the 4-3 defensive formation, most commonly used in the NFL, employs two defensive tackles, while the 3-4 formation uses just a single defensive tackle, called the nose tackle. However, defensive ends in a typical 3-4 have responsibilities more similar to a 4-3 defensive tackle than 4-3 defensive ends, on running plays, the goal is to tackle the ball carrier. The defensive tackles are usually the most skilled run defenders on the team, on passing plays, the defensive line tries to reach the quarterback. Defensive ends are usually the most skilled pass rushers on the team, in order to increase the pressure on the quarterback, teams will often have players other than the defensive line attempt to tackle the quarterback, this is called a blitz.
Defensive linemen—particularly defensive ends—are called upon to do more running than offensive linemen, thus they usually tend to be somewhat lighter and faster
Fullback (gridiron football)
A fullback is a position in the offensive backfield in American and Canadian football, and is one of the two running back positions along with the halfback. Examples of players who have excelled at the hybrid running-blocking-pass catching role include Mike Alstott, in the days before two platoons, the fullback was usually the teams punter and drop kicker. In modern play, the fullback is a misnomer. Before the emergence of the T-formation in the 1940s, most teams used four offensive backs on every play, a quarterback, two halfbacks, and a fullback. The quarterback began each play a quarter of the way back, the halfbacks began each play side by side and halfway back, and the fullback began each play the farthest back. In the modern game, when the quarterback is under center, fullbacks are typically known less for speed and agility and more for muscularity and the ability to shed tackles. In the modern NFL, while deployed as ball carriers, are often primarily a lead blocker to allow running backs to get to the secondary of the opposing teams defense.
In the early 2000s, many NFL teams used blocking fullbacks, such as Tony Richardson and Lorenzo Neal and these backs cleared the way for some of the decades great running backs. There are still fullbacks who remaining prominent in the NFL, among them Aaron Ripkowski, Jamize Olawale, James Develin, John Kuhn, Patrick DiMarco, Mike Tolbert, Kyle Juszczyk, and Marcel Reece. However, in spite of their usually infrequent carries in modern NFL offenses, notably LeRon McClain was the rushing leader for the Baltimore Ravens in 2008 and Tony Richardson led the Kansas City Chiefs in rushing in 2000. Giants running back Peyton Hillis started his NFL career as a fullback before being reverted into a halfback, although technically a running back, typically fullbacks are primarily valued for their blocking in most modern day offenses. The most common and simple runs, the Dive and the Blast, in the flexbone formation, the fullback can often be used as the primary rushing threat. In many other schemes, the fullback is used as a receiver.
In selected plays, some teams will have a defensive lineman report as a receiver to line up as a fullback or tight end in a Miami package in goalline formation. Defensive Tackle William The Refrigerator Perry scored a touchdown in Super Bowl XX from the fullback position, most teams in the NFL do not have a substitute fullback, though there are exceptions. The role can be filled by backup or number three or four tight ends or bigger and less-frequently-used running backs. In modern offenses, fullbacks in an I-formation can be motioned into a 2-TE formation or H-back formation, the position is less frequently used in Canadian football, which focuses more on passing than running the ball
Down (gridiron football)
A down is a period in which a play transpires in American and Canadian football. The down is a characteristic of the game compared to other codes of football. The team in possession of the football has a number of downs to advance ten yards or more towards their opponents goal line. If they fail to advance far, possession of the ball is turned over to the other team. The player with possession of the ball after he has been tackled or is unable to advance the ball further on account of the play having ended is down. Down may refer to the ball after it is dead in one manner or another. The line of scrimmage for the play will be determined by the position of the ball when it is down. Each possession begins with first down, the line to gain is marked 10 yards downfield from the start of this possession, and the situation is described as 1st and 10. If the offensive team moves the ball past the line to gain, if a penalty against the defensive team moves the ball past the line to gain, the offensive team gets a new first down.
Some defensive penalties give the offense an automatic first down regardless of the distance, downing the player with possession of the ball is one way to end a play. Usually a player is made down when he is tackled by the defense, in the NFL, if the offensive player is touching the ground with some part of his body other than his hands or feet, he is down if any defensive player touches him. In the NCAA, a player touching the ground in the same manner is down. If recovering the ball in ones opponents end zone, a player may down the ball by dropping to one knee, a player in possession of the ball will down the ball if he fumbles it out of bounds. In the NFL, the quarterback is the player for whom falling down in this way automatically stops play. 1st &10, First down with 10 yards to go for a new first down and this is the usual starting point for a possession. On occasion the yards to go may be an other than 10, due to a penalty. If 1st and 10 would result in a line to gain at or beyond the goal line, the referee signals a first down by facing the goal the team in possession of the ball is advancing toward and extending his forearm toward the goal with palm usually open.
Sometimes a referee will indicate a first down when the offensive team recovers its own fumble
Line of scrimmage
In American and Canadian football, a line of scrimmage is an imaginary transverse line beyond which a team cannot cross until the next play has begun. Its location is based on the spot where the ball is placed after the end of the most recent play, a line of scrimmage is parallel to the goal lines and touches one edge of the ball where it sits on the ground prior to the snap. Under NFL, NCAA, and NFHS rules, there are two lines of scrimmage at the outset of each play, one restricts the offense. The area between the two lines is called the neutral zone, only the center, the offensive player who snaps the ball, is allowed to have any part of his body in the neutral zone. In Canadian football, the team on defense must line up no nearer than a yard to the line of scrimmage, in American football, they must only be beyond the line. Many fans and commentators refer colloquially to the neutral zone as the line of scrimmage. Others use the term to refer specifically to the defensive line of scrimmage.
Referees, when explaining a penalty, will refer to the spot instead of the line of scrimmage in order to avoid confusion. Modern video techniques enable broadcasts of American football to display a visible line on the screen representing the line of scrimmage, the line is tapered according to camera angle and gets occluded by players and other objects as if the line were painted on the field. The line may represent the line of scrimmage or the distance that the ball must be moved for the offensive team to achieve a first down. Scrummage Glossary of American football Walter Camp, formal creator of the line of scrimmage in 1880 Comparison of Canadian and American football