America’s greatest spectacle, the Super Bowl is back for the 49th time in Arizona and we’ve got the lowdown on what you need to know to understand what’s going on.
The game will be played at 10.30am (AEST) on Monday 2nd February, 2015.
The Seattle Seahawks are here to defend their title against the New England Patriots and no team has won back to back Super Bowls since New England, a decade ago.
The Patriot’s quarterback, Tom Brady has created history by making his 6th Super Bowl appearance, while his opponent, Russell Wilson has only been playing for three seasons, but he is already into his second Super Bowl.
Here’s the basic rules for all us Australian’s to help understand what’s going on
TIMING: Games are divided into four, 15 minute quarters. At the end of the first and third quarters, the team with the ball retains possession heading into the following quarter. That is not the case before halftime. The second half starts with a kickoff in the same way as Rugby League or Union.
HOW IT WORKS: Each team essentially has 4 tackles to try and make 10 yards (just over 9m).
If a team manages 10 yards (or longer) they are then given the opportunity to try and make another 10 yards within 4 tackles. In NFL terms it is called a down rather than a tackle. Eg/ if it is 2nd and 8, this means that the offensive team is on its 2nd tackle and they still need to make a further 8 yards to reach 10 yards and receive their next set of 4 downs (tackles).
On the 4th down, if the offensive team is too far away to kick a field goal, they will kick the ball for field position, like in League on the 5th tackle.
The main difference between Australian codes of football and NFL is, that after the ball is kicked, the kicking team isn’t allowed to re-gather the ball.
Play begins at what is called the line of scrimmage. The offensive team is allowed to only throw the ball forward, once, behind this line of scrimmage. However each team may pass the ball backwards as many times as they like (which is termed ‘a lateral’).
THE TACKLE: A player is tackled when one or both of his knees touch the ground. The play is then over (even if the ball comes loose).
SCORING: A touchdown (which is the same as a try) is worth 6 points. To score a touchdown if you are running towards the goal line, the ball simply needs to cross the goal line (it doesn’t have to be grounded over the goal line). If someone is catching the ball in the ‘end zone’ (in goal area), the person catching the ball needs to have two feet in bounds at some point in time.
After a touch down is scored, the offensive team tries to convert the touch down which is worth one point. This kicking conversion attempt is taken from directly in front of the goal posts.
Teams can also attempt a 2 point conversion, which is where they will try and score a touchdown again, from the opponent’s 2 yard line.
Like in Rugby, field goals are worth 3 points and can be attempted from any position on the field.
OVERTIME: In order to win the game, the team who wins the coin toss must score a touchdown on their first possession. If they only score a field goal, the opposing team then gets a chance to score. If they kick a field goal, the game continues. If they score a touchdown, the game ends. If the game is tied after both teams have had a possession, then the next score wins.
Easy as pie wasn’t it!
Will you be pulling a sickie to watch the Super Bowl on Monday morning at 10.30am?
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