The NFL Rules Quiz!

By: Annette
Estimated Completion Time
2 min
The offense has how many players?
9
10
11
There are 11 players on the offense. The offense is the team that has possession of the ball and tries to advance down the field.

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How many players are on the defense?
9
10
11
That's right. There are as many players on the defense as there are on the offense. Makes sense, right?

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How long is the field?
50 yards
100 yards
The field is exactly 100 yards long, not including the end zones. It's also 53.3 yards wide. Yard markers help the players and officials track the ball.
200 yards

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How long is the end zone?
5 yards
10 yards
The end zone is 10 yards long on each end. This is in addition to the 100 yards of the playing field.
15 yards

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How long is a game, only counting playing time?
1 hour
There are four quarters comprised of 15 minutes each. That means that the total playing time is one hour, without overtime.
2 hours
3 hours

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The second half of the game starts with _____?
A kickoff
Similar to the beginning of the first quarter, the beginning of the third quarter starts with a kickoff. Possession goes to the team that did not kickoff in the first quarter.
A coin toss
A throw

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How long is the halftime break?
12 minutes
According to the rulebook, halftime is only 12 minutes long. But is that long enough for Katy Perry to sing? No! Super Bowl halftime is longer.
15 minutes​
20 minutes

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Does the clock stop when a player goes out of bounds?
Yes
The clock stops when a player goes out of bounds. It also stops when a penalty is called or when a pass is incomplete.
No

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In overtime, who gets possession of the ball?
Team that kicked-off the game
Team that had the ball at end of 4th quarter
Coin toss
Sudden death overtime is determined by a coin toss. Whoever wins has possession of the ball. Overtime lasts for 15 minutes.

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How many separate units of players comprise one team?
2
3
There are three units of players. There is the offense, the defense and a special team for kicking situations.
4

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Where does kickoff take place?
10-yard​ line
35-yard line
Kickoffs used to take place at the 30-yard line, but in 2011 the kicking tee was moved to the 35-yard line in order to produce more touchbacks. The placekicker kicks the ball to the offense.
30-yard line

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The offense has four ____ in which to gain 10 yards.
Tosses
Downs
The offense has four downs, or chances, to make a 10-yard gain. Once they accomplish that, they receive first down and four more chances to do it again.
Tackles

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What do you call the position on the field where a play begins?
Offensive line
Defensive line
Line of scrimmage
The line of scrimmage is where the play begins. The play begins with a snap, where the QB calls out a play in code, and the player in front of him snaps the ball under his legs.

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How many ways can the quarterback advance the ball?
One
Two
There are only two choices that the quarterback has, in order to advance the ball. He can either run it or pass it. Running that ball can be done by the running back or by the quarterback himself.
Three

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Who can pass the ball?
Only the QB
Only the running back
The whole offense
According to the rulebook, anyone on the offensive side can pass the ball. They must be behind the line of scrimmage.

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A tackle is determined by which body part hitting the ground?
Shoulder
Knee
If one or two knees go down, then the player has been tackled. If he was carrying the ball, this means that the play is officially over.
Hand

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How many ways can you score points in football?
Three ways
Four ways
There are four ways to score points in football. These include: Touchdown, Extra point, Field goal, and Safety. The extra point, or conversion, can become a two-point​ conversion if the ball is passed instead of kicked.
Six ways

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Which of these is a turnover?
Fumble
Interception
Both
Both the fumble and the interception are considered turnovers, moving the ball from the offense to the defense. The defense is able to score a touchdown after a turnover.

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Do college football and the NFL have different rules?
Yes
Roughly similar, though slightly different, the NFL and the NCAA have different rulebooks. This applies to high school football as well.
No

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Do teams switch ends after each quarter?
Yes
Teams switch ends after each quarter. This evens out any advantages or disadvantages that may exist on the field or due to weather conditions.
No

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How many time outs does a team get per half?
Three
Each team is only allowed three time outs per half of the game. Exceptions are allowed for injured players.
Four
Five

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After the last play, the next play must begin within ______.
20 seconds
40 seconds
The offense must begin its next play within 40 seconds of the end of the last play. This is closely monitored by back judges.
60 seconds

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A football weighs approximately how much?
14 to 15 grams
A football weighs approximately 14 to 15 ounces. It is always made of leather in professional football and resembles a rugby ball.
4 to 5 grams
140 to 150 grams

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Are there umpires in football?
Yes
Umpires are a part of the team of officials on the field. They're responsible for spotting the ball at the beginning of plays.
No

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Who has the final word on the field?
The head linesman
The referee
The referee has the final say in all decisions on the field. The officiating team also includes the line judge, back judge, and side judge.
The field judge

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Who blocks defensive players to protect the quarterback?
The running back
The tight end
The offensive lineman
It's the duty of the offensive lineman to block the defense, protecting the quarterback and the running backs.

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Whose job is it to down the quarterback?
The defensive lineman
It's the job of the defensive lineman to down the quarterback. He's supported in this task by the linebackers.
The linebackers
The cornerback

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Are the place-kicker and the punter the same thing?
Yes
No
They are not the same, but there are some overlaps. The place-kicker does the kick-off and is also trained to kick field goals. The punter is used in the fourth down if it seems like the team will not progress further.

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How much is a touchdown worth?
6 points
A touchdown is achieved when the ball is carried into the opposite team's end zone. It is worth six points, and an extra point can be achieved with a field kick.
7 points
8 points

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Is a 2-point conversion common?
Yes
No
It's unlikely that a team will go for a 2-point conversion, as it's difficult to carry to the ball into the end-zone again. A field kick is opted for in most cases.

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How much is a safety worth?
1 point
2 points
A safety is worth two points. It's achieved by the opposite team when a player is downed or causes the ball to go out of bounds while he is standing in his own end zone. This is not awarded if the ball was kicked to the player in question.
3 points

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Illegal actions result in ____ penalties.
Point
Yard
If an illegal action occurs on the field, the officials will determine if it's a 5-, 10-, or 15-yard​ penalty. This is determined by the severity of the action.
Time

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Aggressive actions performed by defensive players can result in what?
30-yard penalties
5 points
First down
For very aggressive actions on the defensive team, it can result in the offensive team receiving a first down. The ball is spotted in the appropriate place and playing is resumed.

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Illegal blocking includes which of these?
Tackling below the knees
Tackling from behind, above the waist
Both
These are both methods of illegal blocking. The first results in fifteen yards and the second results in five yards.

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Aggressive tackling against the center before a play begins is known as what?
Hitting the kicker
Ruffling the punter
Roughing the snapper
Roughing the snapper is a serious offense, and considered far too aggressive. This offense is often given a first down.

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