Friday, September 23, 2011

Pigskins & Pearls 101: First & Ten

That is another FIRST DOWN!  
As the team marches up and down the field, orange sticks march down the sidelines marking the downs and the yards the offensive has gained.

The down markers ("sticks") mark off a ten yard segment.  The offensive team has four tries to get the ball past those ten yards.  That is where the term first and ten comes from.  The team is on their first try to get ten yards.  Hopefully by the second down, the team has less yards to cover.

Typically if the team does not get the ten yards after the third down, they will have to punt the ball on the fourth down.  The coaches have to way the risk to go for on fourth down.  Things to consider are what yard line they are on and how many yards to go.  If they team is in the red zone (20 yards to the end zone), they are likely to kick a field goal to at least come away with some points.

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