Basic Football Terms And Definitions

Many people who are just getting into football need to become familiar with basic football terms and definitions.  There are quite a few terms that can cause a new football fan or player to become confused.  Let's talk about some of the basic football terms and definitions that need to be known to better understand the game of football.

One term that people may not understand is when a team has a "balanced offense."  This is a term that is used for a team that uses a somewhat equal amount of rushing and passing in their offense.  This is a key to success for many great offenses.  If a team is committed to a balanced offense, then the defense they are playing against is required to watch out for the run or pass, which causes the defense to be off balance.

When watching football on television, it is very common to hear the analysts talking about the quarterback making an audible.  An audible is a voice command that the quarterback uses when the offense is already lined up, to change the play.  This can be used because of something the quarterback sees in the defense.

Another basic football term that is used a lot is "blitz."  For a defense to blitz, it has more players rush in to the offensive backfield that normally, by sending someone other than a lineman straight into the offensive backfield, such as a linebacker, safety, or cornerback.  Blitzes are used to put pressure on the quarterback and either get a sack or to stop a rushing play in the backfield.

Speaking of "sack," that is another basic football term.  A sack is when a defensive player downs a quarterback when he is back to pass.  A sack is one of the best plays a defense can make besides a turnover.

During a football game, a basic term that usually is used is the term "fumble."  A player fumbles when he drops the ball while carrying it down the field.  When the ball is dropped it can be recovered by either team and whoever recovers it gains possession of the ball, whether it is offense or defense.

A "fair catch" is a very common term used in football.  A player that is catching a punt or kickoff can signal for a fair catch by waving an arm up in the air before catching the ball.  By calling for a fair catch, the person receiving the punt or kickoff is agreeing for his team to have the ball right where the punt is caught.  In exchange, the other team cannot hit the person making the catch and the referee blows the whistle and calls the play dead immediately upon the player catching the ball.

There are many basic terms and definitions that need to be learned when watching football.  While watching football a person will continue to learn these terms even after watching or playing the game several times.  These are some of the most important terms used during football.