Football terms and definitions (Glossary)
Free Organizer Software

Football Terms (Glossary)

When the quarterback changes the football play at the line of scrimmage.


This is the area of the football field behind the line of scrimmage.


These football players include the running backs; the halfback and the fullback.


A football play where the defensive team rushes more football players than usual to try and sack the quarterback.


What the offensive team does to prevent a defensive player from getting to the football carrier; Blockers use their arms and bodies to get in the way, but may not grab onto (hold) an opponent.



When pass defenders hit a receiver once and then follow him to prevent him from catching a pass.

Eligible receiver:

Only certain football players on the offense are allowed by the rules to catch a forward pass; All the linemen and the quarterback are not eligible unless they notify the referee before the snap.  The linemen must stand at least one yard behind the line of scrimmage.


A penalty when any football player other than the center is in the neutral zone and contact occurs prior to the snap. 

End zone:

This is the area where the football team must enter with the football to score a touchdown.

Extra point:

After a football team has scored a touchdown, they have the opportunity to score extra points via the point-after-touchdown (1 point) or a 2-point conversion (2 points).

Fair catch:

The player making a football kick return can decide to catch a punt or kickoff and not advance the football. He must signals for a fair catch by raising one hand in the air and waving it.

Field goal:

The kicker must kick the football above the crossbar and between the uprights of the goalpost.  The football team that kicked the football gets 3 points.

Forward pass:

When the football is thrown by a football player (typically the quarterback) towards the opponent�s goal line.  On a play from scrimmage, only one forward pass can be thrown by the football team and it must be thrown from behind the line of scrimmage.

Forward progress:

The spot where a football carrier has moved the football regardless of whether he was pushed backwards from that spot.


When a football player drops the football.  Whoever picks it up will gain possession for his team.


The structure in the end zone that the kicker must kick the football through to score an extra point or a field goal.


A penalty where a football player stops the movement of an opponent by grasping or holding onto his body or uniform.

Intentional grounding:

A penalty when the quarterback purposely throws an incomplete pass just to avoid a sack.


A pass that is caught by a football player on the defense.


When a football player kicks the football to the other team.  This happens at the start of the game, the second half and overtime, and after each score.


A pass thrown that is backwards from the team�s line of scrimmage.  Football players may lateral the football as many times per play as they want.

Line of scrimmage:

The place on the field where the football is spotted and the next play starts.


The offensive and defensive football players who start each play at the line of scrimmage.

Neutral zone:

The area between the offense and defense where the football as it sits on the ground before each play.

Nickel defense:

When the defense brings in a 5th defensive back to help cover the pass play.


A penalty that occurs when any part of a football player�s body is beyond his line of scrimmage when the football is snapped.

Pass protection:

Blocking by the offensive football players to keep defenders away from the quarterback to give him time to throw the football.

Pass rush:

When a defender tries to bet by the blockers to sack the quarterback.

Personal foul:

A penalty for an action that had intent to cause injury to another football player.

Place kick:

When the kicker tries to kick the football between the goal post.  The football is held by another player between his finger and the ground.

Play-action pass:

When the quarterback fakes handing off the football, then tries to make a pass.


The area where the quarterback stands and is protected from the rush by his blockers.


When a football team kicks the football to the other team rather than loose the football on downs.  The kicker holds the football in his hands and kicks it to the other football team.


This is the football player that starts each play. He takes the snap from the center and either runs with it, hands off the football to another player, or passes it.


The football players who catch the football.


When the football player runs with the football.


When the quarterback is tackled behind the line of scrimmage.


When a football player is tackled in his own end zone.  The defense gets 2 points and the football off of a free kick.


When the quarterback runs around trying not to get sacked with the football.


Sometimes called the hike.  The center hands off the football between his legs to a player standing behind him (usually the quarterback) at the start of each play.

Special teams:

These are the football players who are involved in the kicking plays.


Where the official decides the line of scrimmage will be for the start of the next football play.


1) A football player position on the offensive or defensive line.  There are two of them and they play on each side of the center or the nose guard.

2) When a football player causes the football carrier to touch the ground such that they are considered down.


The main object of football.  When a player has control of the football within the end zone his team gets 6 points.


When, with either a fumble or an interception, one team loses possession of the football to the other.


Football Terms and Definitions (Glossary)

Organizer Software

Other Info

Organize Your Life

Help Getting out of Debt

Movie Lists

Audio Video Software Downloads

Kids Games and Sports

Football Team Roster tracking software

This site is � Copyright TSI 2004-2006, All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use and Privacy Policy