Time for kickoff! Is it a soccer term or American football term?

John Miller

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About This Quiz

Both American football and soccer share a number of similar terms, but they have very different lingo, too. Can you tell the soccer terms from the American football terms?

Which sport starts its games with a "kickoff"?

Both sports share this concept -- they begin with a kickoff, in which one side kicks the ball to the other team. Then the game begins in earnest.

In which sport do the teams attempt to score "touchdowns"?

American football teams do everything they can to score touchdowns, which are worth six points. In soccer, teams attempt to score goals … or more appropriately, "GOOOOOOAALLLLS!"

In which sport would you see an "incomplete pass"?

In American football, if a forward pass is thrown but no one catches it, it's an incomplete pass. The clock stops after an incomplete pass.

Which game is played on a "gridiron"?

Because American football is played on a field marked with evenly spaced parallel lines, the field is sometimes called a gridiron. It borrows its name from a cooking gridiron, which is like the metal grate in your BBQ grill.

The "quarterback" is the most important player in which sport?

In football, the quarterback is one of two players who touch the ball on every single play (the other is the center). The quarterback is the general who must guide the team with confidence and poise -- and he or she is often one of the most athletic players on the gridiron.

"Heading" the ball is an important skill in which game?

In soccer, players can't use their hands (unless they are goalies), so they learn to pass and shoot with their heads. This is called, of course, "heading" the ball.

Which sport relies heavily on the craft of "dribbling"?

In soccer, players must learn to control the ball with their feet, called "dribbling." The best players can dribble circles around defenders, frustrating them to no end.

In which game are "saves" incredibly important?

A save is a vital aspect of soccer. It refers to the moment when a defender (often the goalie) stops a shot by the attackers. The best goalkeepers are known for racking up absurd numbers of saves.

Which sport sees many "passes"?

Both football and soccer see many passes during the course of the game. A pass is simply when one player shares the ball with another teammate.

A "cross" pass is a common scoring technique in which game?

In soccer, attackers often launch passes that "cross" in front of the goal, in the hopes that another offensive player will snag the pass and launch it into the net. Defenders must be at their best to stop cross passes.

In which sport will you find players running the "pitch"?

Avid soccer fans know that the soccer field is called the "pitch." The pitch is where players find the glory of victory and the agony of defeat.

A "through pass" is a common act in which game?

A "through pass" is when a pass is played between two defenders in soccer, allowing a fellow attacker to gather up the ball. Accurate through passes befuddle defenders and allow for great offensive momentum towards the goal.

The "red zone" is a pressure-packed area of the field in which sport?

The red zone is the area of the field between the 20-yard-line and the goal line in American football. When the offensive team enters the competition's red zone, they're in scoring range.

In which sport do announcers often reference the "ball carrier"?

In American football, the ballcarrier is the player that's in possession of the ball. Defenders, then, try to stop the ball carrier at any cost.

"Midfielders" play an essential position in which sport?

Midfielders play the center of the field in soccer. Because they are responsible for both defense and offense, they are frequently some of the best athletes on the pitch.

"Spearing" is a dangerous move in which game?

In American football, "spearing" is when a defensive player tackles a ball carrier by leading with the top of his helmet. Spearing is extremely dangerous for both players and can result in serious injury.

"Tackling" is an essential skill of which sport?

Tackling is a vital defensive skill in both soccer and football. In football, it means you're grabbing and smashing the ball carrier to the ground. In soccer, it means you're trying to knock the ball away from the player who's dribbling.

Which game is broken up into a series of "downs"?

In American football, offensive teams have four downs (or plays) to either score or get a "first down" which is generally achieved by moving the ball in 10-yard increments.

In which sport are yellow markers used to warn players about infringements of the rules?

Both sports use yellow markers to denote penalties (football) or fouls (soccer). In football, penalties mean the offending teams are penalized with penalty yardage. In soccer, players are warned and then the other side gets possession of the ball or perhaps a penalty kick.

"Late tackles" are common in which sport?

Late tackles are frowned upon in both football and soccer. In soccer, it means that the defender challenged a player after he or she already passed the ball. In football, it means a defender tackled the ball carrier after the play was already over.

"Fumbles" are a cursed part of which game?

When offensive players in football drop the ball, it's called a fumble, and if a defensive player grabs the fumble, it's a turnover. Teams that commit too many fumbles almost always lose the game.

You'll see "decoy runs" executed in which game?

In soccer, attackers away from the ball will sometimes execute a decoy run, in which they try to distract defenders away from the actual play, giving the real attackers a chance to set up a potential score.

In which sport is "shielding" a critical skill?

Soccer players learn early on that they must shield the ball from defenders. It means they use their bodies to "shield" the ball from defenders, who will do anything to take it away.

A "field goal" is a manner of scoring in which game?

Goals are the ultimate purpose of soccer, but "field goals" are a scoring strike in football. It's when a placekicker kicks the ball through the uprights for a three-point score. Field goals are only worth half as much as touchdowns, so they're the consolation prizes of an offensive drive.

In which sport do the offenses sometimes try to "stretch the play"?

In both soccer and football, offenses will often spread out their players and pass the ball to "stretch" the field. This can create gaps in the defense and make it easier to push the ball down the field for a scoring strike.

The "give and go" is an important offensive play in which game?

In soccer, the "give and go" (or 1-2) is when one player passes it to another, and then that player immediately passes it back. With accurate passes, the give and go is a deadly combination that maximizes offensive capabilities.

"Sliding tackles" are a big part of which sport?

Sliding tackles are when soccer defenders use their momentum to slide across the ground towards the player dribbling the ball, in an effort to win the ball. Sliding tackles often result in spectacular collisions.

The "two-minute warning" is a critical turning point in which sport?

At the end of each half of American football, the game is momentarily stopped when there are two minutes left on the clock. It gives each team a moment to prepare for what are often the most critical moments of a close game.

In which sport is the "hurry-up offense" a common term?

American football teams often practice the hurry-up offense, which means that the attacking team picks up the pace. They may initiate the hurry-up offense to throw the defense off-balance or simply because time is running out.

A "fifty-fifty ball" is a forehead-slapping play in which game?

In soccer, a fifty-fifty ball is a poor pass that has a 50 percent chance of winding up in either team's possession. Fifty-fifty balls are a sign of sloppy or incompetent passing.

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