American and European football: What is the Difference and Similarities Between Them?

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American and European football have come to dominate the world of sports, commanding huge followers and passionate fans around the world.

The popularity of the two major sports around the globe is not a surprise with the the characteristic thrills drawn from an array of talents, skills, the dance of strategy and the hysteria on the stadium.

Despite sharing a similar name, they are different sports with different rules, strategy, and some similarities.

What is European football?

European football can best be defined with its characteristics and rules which set it apart from other major sports in the world.

American and European football

It is a game of two teams with 11 players on either side all struggling for only one objective – to have a round leather ball crossed the goal line.

European football, or football, in its generic term, is one of the most followed sports in the world with over 5billion followers, according to reports.

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American and European football

The game is played on a rectangular field for 90 minutes with the sole objective of scoring a goal.

All the players in football play different but overlapping roles. There are goalkeepers, whose role is to keep out the ball from crossing the goal line. In front of the goalkeeper are defenders made of center-backs and wing-backs.

In front of the defenders are midfielders whose role are to maintain balance in the game and also assist strikers to create goal-scoring opportunities.

While in front of the midfields are attackers, strikers or forwards whose role is to get the ball pass the opponent’s goalkeeper and score.

What is American football?

American football was first played on 6 November, 1868 in New Jersey, US. It evolved out of rugby and soccer.

American football is a kind of team sports which pits two teams of seven players each against each other. The game is played on a rectangular field with the sole objective of scoring a goal – getting the ball through the end zone or goalpost at each ends of the field.

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In American football, each team tries to get more points than the other by trying to beat their opponents through deep runs with the ball into the opponents’ half.

American and European football

The offense led by the team in possession of the ball tries to get the ball pass the defense ( the team without the ball). The offense must advance pass the defense ten yards in four trials or lose the ball to the opponents.

The winner is always decided by the number of touchdowns – reaching the opponents’ end zone or goal area. One can also kick the ball through the goal area for ‘field goal.’

Differences and similarities between American football and European football

Both sports are teams’ sports with a differing number of players on each sides. American football has seven players per team while European football has 11 players per team.

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There are provisions for substitutions during games but there are variations on the number of substitutions allowed.

In European football, a maximum of five substitutions are allowed while unlimited number of substitutions are allowed in American football.

Both sports are played on a rectangular field of varying sizes. American football games are played on pitches which measures 100 yards long between the goal lines, and 53.3 yards wide while European football field measures 110 m long and 49 m wide.

In European football, one scores when the offense get the ball pass the goal line while one scores through touchdowns on the end zone or field goal in American football.

American football is a more physical sports as it involves more combat, energy and strategy while football is less physical, overly reliant on individual skills and technicality coupled with the team’s overall tactics.

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