NFL Super Bowl 58 will be defined on February 11 when the Kansas City Chiefs face the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
It is the end of the American football season, a sport that not everyone is familiar with, so knowing its basic rules is a step to being able to enjoy one of the most popular shows in the United States and the world.
This Sunday there will be a new champion in the NFL (Photo: Instagram).
The two teams that face each other in an American football game always have eleven players on the field. They are not always the same, but there are different formations: attack, defense and the so-called “special teams”, which are trained for specific situations in a game.
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The playing field has a length of 100 yards (one yard is 0.91 meters), made up of 10 segments of 10. As in rugby, it is played with an oval ball, the object that is always in dispute and the one that defines when a team scores points on attack.
The yards marked on the playing field (Photo: courtesy of USA TODAY Sports).By: USA TODAY Sports
The team that scores the most points through scores – also known as touchdowns – or field goals – will win the match, the duration of which is based on four 15-minute periods. However, with pauses and interruptions that the game has during periods in which the clock stops, a match can last up to three hours. In the Super Bowl, with an extended halftime, it extends even further.
American football dynamics
Visually, it resembles a rugby match, but the sports have several differences from each other. The main one: you are allowed to pass the ball forward with your hands, while in rugby you can only pass the ball backwards or, to do it forward, only the use of your feet is allowed.
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When attacking, teams have to advance with the ball at least ten yards. To complete this distance, they have four attempts or downs. If they do not do so, the ball will pass to the opponent where the game last stopped.
For this reason, two variants are usually used on fourth down. If the ball is in an area close to the goals that are located at both ends of the playing field, a field goal is attempted to get three points. But if they are too far away, the ball is cleared so that the opponent begins their attack sequence as far away from the touchdown as possible.
Points in American football
The most profitable way to score more points in American football is when a team manages to cross the end zone line with the ball. The touchdown grants six points, but can escalate to seven if the kicker manages to place the ball within the three goal posts in the subsequent shot.
The kicker looks for the H on a field goal (Photo: courtesy of USA TODAY Sports).By: USA TODAY Sports
On the other hand, the field goal gives three points. This generally occurs when a team sees that the chances of advancing 10 yards are practically impossible and there are no more attempts left. Therefore, one of its members impacts the ball so that it enters the posts.
In addition to these two options, there is the “two-point conversion” that is generated when after the touchdown, the team does not allow the use of the shot on goal and prefers to make a play to cross the goal line again. Thus, to the initial six points, two will be added instead of one.
There is one more option, Safety. It is when a defensive team tackles the offensive player who has the ball inside their own touchdown zone. In that case, two points will be added.
There is a team of seven referees who are responsible for ensuring compliance with the rules in the match. When there is a penalty, a whistle blows and a yellow handkerchief flies. Then the main referee informs the entire stadium and the television broadcast of the infraction that has just been sanctioned.
Positions in American football
Quarterback: they organize the team's plays. Receivers: they take the passes that the quarterback threw and, in general, they usually create the aerial attack. Running backs: they receive the ball from the quarterback when the idea is to add yards to the race. Tight end: works as receiver and runner. They stand out for their strength, physical ability and also defensive collaboration. Tacklers: they protect the quarterback from rivals so that they do not reach him or block his intention to play. Kickers: they are the specialists for throwing the ball to the three sticks or clearing .
Tie in American football
At the end of regulation time in an American football game, there must be a winner. If this does not happen and there is a tie, the teams will face each other in extra time for another 15 minutes and whoever scores points first will be the winner. If equality persists, an unusual fact, the result is considered definitive.
When is the 2024 Super Bowl?
Super Bowl LVIII will be played next February 11 from 8:30 p.m. (Argentine time) at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. There, the winner of the American Football Conference (AFC), which will be the Baltimore Ravens or the Kansas City Chiefs, will face the winner of the National Football Conference (NFC), the San Francisco 49ers or the Detroit Lions.