The National Football League, or NFL, is one of the world’s most popular professional sports leagues, with the best MLB picks and parlays. It is also one of the most dynamic, with teams battling it out for a prospect to win the coveted Super Bowl each year.
This guide is for you if you’re new to the NFL or want to learn more about it. We’ll take you through the basics of the league, including its history, structure, and rules.
So, whether you’re a diehard fan or just getting started, read on for our comprehensive guide to understanding the NFL.
Table of Contents
The NFL is an unincorporated association of its 32 teams and operates as a cooperative, preventing any team from dominating the league. The NFL comprises National Football Conference and American Football Conference, each containing four divisions.
The four divisions in each conference are the North, South, East, and West. The four divisions in the NFC are the NFC East, NFC North, NFC South, and NFC West. The four divisions in the AFC are the AFC East, AFC North, AFC South, and AFC West.
The NFL started in 1920, naming itself American Professional Football Association, then renaming itself the National Football League for the 1922 season. The NFL is the wealthiest, most popular, and most watched sport in America, and its games are broadcast on television channels throughout the world.
The NFL is also the most significant professional sports league in the United States by revenue, with an estimated $9.5 billion annual revenue. The NFL is deeply divided between those who see it as an entertainment product first and a game second and those who see it as the reverse.
The NFL has a complex set of rules that govern everything from how the game gets played to how players get penalized. It is a lot to take in if you’re new to the sport. Here are a few of the basics:
- The field is 100 yards long, with 10 yards in each end zone.
- It gets played with two teams of 11 players each.
- The offense aims to advance the ball down the field by running with it or throwing it to a teammate. The defense attempts to stop the offense and get the ball back.
- When the offense gets the ball, they have four downs, or opportunities, to gain 10 yards. If they succeed, they get another set of four downs. If they don’t, they have to turn the ball over to the other team.
- Points get earned by advancing the ball into the end zone (touchdown, worth six points), kicking the ball through the uprights (field goal, worth three points), or other means.
These are just a few of the basic rules of the NFL. If you want to learn more, we recommend checking out the official NFL rule book.
The NFL has a Commissioner, who the owners of the 32 teams elect. The Commissioner is responsible for the overall operation of the NFL, including its business affairs, and has the authority to impose penalties for violations of league rules.
The Commissioner is also responsible for negotiating television contracts and overseeing the NFL Draft and the NFL Scouting Combine. The Commissioner gets elected to a five-year term by a vote of the owners of the 32 teams.
The NFL has a pyramid, with the Commissioner at the top, followed by the owners of the 32 teams, the president of each conference, and the head of each division. Below the president of each conference are the teams that make up that conference, divided into divisions.
There are 32 teams in the NFL, divided equally between the National Football Conference and American Football Conference. Each team gets allowed to have up to 53 players on its roster, but only 46 can dress and play in each game.
This is the annual championship game of the NFL, played between the champion of the NFC and the champion of the AFC. The first event happened in 1967 and is now the most-watched sporting event in the world.
The Super Bowl is typically played on the first Sunday in February and is broadcast on television in over 180 countries.
The NFL is a complex and exciting sport that can be enjoyable for casual and diehard fans. We hope this guide has given you a perfect understanding of the league and how it works.
So what are you waiting for? Start watching some games and see why the NFL is among the most popular sports leagues in the world.