In football, a team consists of 11 players (including the kicker and punter). However, only 10 players may be on the field at any given time. The game begins with one player from each team on the field: one offensive player, who is the quarterback, and one defensive player; all the other players wait off the field until they are called into play.
The roles of each position vary by team and by playing style. Some teams use a “three-back” system that includes two running backs and a tight end as eligible receivers, while others use two tight ends or one tight end and three wide receivers. Many teams have both a fullback and a halfback in their backfield; some have none at all. A few teams use four wide receivers or even five or six wide receivers.
The quarterback initiates most plays for the offense by handing off or throwing the ball to another player; he also calls out all signals for the other players on his own team to hear (and sometimes those on the opposing team). Quarterbacks are typically among the largest players on any football team — in high school, they average over 200 pounds — because they must be able to withstand physical hits from defensive players while remaining.
Last modified: July 29, 2022