New students urged to explore American football as an option

American Football Captain Myles Gicheru

By Myles Gicheru and Taigu Muchiri

American football, which is also known as football in the United States is a team sport played by two teams made up of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts similar to rugby but T-shaped at each end. Each team divides its players into two teams, the offense and defense teams each having 11 active players on the field.

The offense team is made up of the quarterback (throwing the ball), running back (runs with the ball after being given the ball by the quarterback), receiver (receives the ball when the quarterback throws the ball), linemen (protect the quarterback not to be tackled). The defense team is made up of the linemen (attacks the quarterback of the other team so as not to enable him to catch the ball), cornerbacks (ensures the receivers don’t catch the ball), linebackers (behind the defensive linemen, and therefore back up the line) and safety (defensive backs who line up from ten to fifteen yards in front of the line of scrimmage.)

The offense team, which is the team controlling the oval-shaped ball attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, which is the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, otherwise they turn over the football to the defense; if the offense succeeds in advancing ten yards or more, they are given a new set of four downs. Points are primarily scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.

American football in USIU-Africa started in fall 2017 and is known as USIU Panthers. The team has a total of 22 players, 5 seniors, 6 juniors, 7 sophomores, 4 freshmen. The team took part in two leagues of which the second league started in fall 2018 and has ended in spring 2019.The team training as it prepares itself for the next season which is starting in June. The USIU Panthers train every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

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