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8.1.1. American football.

 American Football

The American type of football was developed in the 19th century. It has its origins in soccer and rugby. In America, it is one of the most popular sports, attracting millions of fans. It is played by professionals, amateurs, college and high school students and even young children. Harpaston, a game played by the ancient Greeks, may be the origin of football. In harpaston, the number of the players was not limited. The players kicked, threw or ran the ball and the aim was to move it across a goal by kicking.

Today the football playing field is rectangular in shape and is 100 yards long and 53,5 yards wide. There are white lines painted on the field to mark off the distances to the end zone. The game is divided into four quarters, which last for 15 minutes. Following the first two quarters (also known as the first half), there is a rest period, which normally lasts for 15 minutes.

There are eleven players in each team: offensive and defensive players. Offensive players play when their team has possession of the ball, while defensive players play when it is the other team who possesses the ball. The players all wear protective equipment to keep themselves safe, such as helmet and pads. Helmets protect the head and the face, while pads are worn to protect the shoulders, arms and legs. American football is a contact sport, in which the players purposely hit or collide with each other (examples of contact actions are blocking, hitting and tackling).

The game is supervised by the officials, who carry flags and whistles. They are responsible for maintaining order and ensuring that the rules of the game are respected during the game.

The football is brown, oval-shaped and is made of leather. There are white rings near each end of the football, so players can see the ball when it is thrown or when someone is running with it. On the top of the football there are eight stitches, which help players to grip or hold the ball when throwing or passing.

Super Bowl is the most famous football game of the year. It is played in January or February and is televised all around the world.

Reading Comprehension

1. When was the American football developed?

2. What is harpaston?

3. What is the shape of a football field?

4. How long does a quarter last?

5. How many players are there in each team?

6. What do officials do?

7. Is the ball circular?

8. Why does the ball have white rings on it?

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