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 Football Glossary


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Football Glossary


Football Glossary

Football betting terms


Astroturf: a non-grass surface of the football field.

Audible: verbal commands of the quarterback.

Backfield: the part of the football field behind the scrimmage line.

Back: a quarterback, one of the running backs, a safety or a cornerback.

Ball carrier: a football player with a ball.

Bet: a football wager.

Blitz: itís a football play where defensive players charge across the line of scrimmage trying to sack a quarterback.

Block: an attempt to stop a defensive football player from attacking an offensive ball carrier.

Book: a betting establishment that determines the odds and accepts bets from the public.

Bookie or a bookmaker: a person who handles the bets.

Bomb: a long pass to a receiver.

Clipping: itís an illegal block when a football player is attacked from behind and below the waist.

Completion or complete pass: a forward pass successfully caught by a football player without a ball hitting the ground.

Conferences: two groups of football teams, which National Football League is divided into; a National and American conferences.

Conversion: a successful one-point score after a try-for-point attempt.

Cover: a defending football player follows an offensive player trying to prevent him from catching a pass.

Crossbar: a horizontal bar connecting the vertical uprights of the football goalpost.

Cut back: a running maneuver of quick change in direction by a ball carrier to avoid football defenders.

Dead ball: the ball is dead when the play is over.

Defensive backfield Ė itís the group of football players consisting of the safeties and cornerbacks.

Defensive holding: an illegal block of an offensive football player where a defender uses his hands.

Defensive line: the group of football players consisting of two tackles and two ends.

Direct pass: a pass from the football center to a backfield player who is few yards behind the scrimmage line.

Double coverage: the situation where two defensive players cover one receiver or two offensive players block one defender.

Double foul: both football teams violate the rule on the same down.

Down: one of the four chances of offensive team to gain at least ten yards.

Down the field: it means the direction toward the opposite teamís goal line.

Draft pick: a player picked by the football club from the pool of qualified players.

Drop back: a football quarterback moves few steps back after a snap into the pocket to make a pass.

Drop kick: the football is kicked after it has been dropped and rebounded off the ground.

Eligible receiver: a football player who is permitted by the rules to catch a forward pass.

Encroachment: a football player steps into a neutral zone before the snap and makes a contact with an opponent.

End lines: the lines at both ends of the football field.

End zones: the areas of the football field at both ends of the field, which are bounded by the end line, goal line and side lines.

Edge: an advantage.

Even money: even odds.

Even odds: a 50/50 betting proposition.

Extra point: a point that a team scores after it has scored a touchdown.

Fair catch: an unobstructed catch of a ball after a kick that requires a football player to raise his hand above his head during the flight of the ball.

Favorite: a football team, which is favored to win the game.

Field goal: a place kick that earns three points when the ball goes above the crossbar between two upright posts of the football goalpost.

Field position: a position of the team on the football field in relation to the goal lines. The closer to the opponentís goal line the better the position is.

First down: it means that a team gained at least 10 yards after first four attempts.

Forward pass: a pass thrown by a football player toward the opposite teamís goal line.

Foul: a violation of one of the football rules.

Free kick: a kick, which a defensive team can not interfere with; itís used to start or restart a play after a team has scored.

Fumble: the situation when a ball carrier drops the ball; a football team, which gets the loose ball becomes the offensive team.

Goal line: the line across the football field 10 yards from the end lines. The area between the goal and end line is called the end zone.

Goalpost: one of the two vertical 18 Ĺ feet posts connected by the crossbar.

Halftime: the 15-minute break between two halves of the football match.

Handicapping: analyzing all factors relevant to a football game with the purpose of predicting an outcome of the game.

Handoff: a football play where the quarterback hands a ball to one of the backs.

Holding: a foul where a football player grabs a uniform or a part of the opponentís body to stop his movement.

Home game: a game on the teamís stadium.

Illegal procedure: it happens when an offensive football player moves before the ball is snapped.

Incomplete pass: a football pass that results in the ball touching the ground before being caught or going out of bounds.

Intentional grounding: a football foul, which happens when a quarterback intentionally throws an incomplete pass to avoid being sacked.

Interception: it happens when a football defender catches the pass.

Kick-off: a place kick which starts the half of the football game or restarts the game after the score.

Lateral: a football pass that goes backward or to any side of the football field.

Laying the points: to bet on the favorite team by giving up points in the process.

Line of scrimmage: a line that can not be crossed by a football player until the snap is made.

Lineman: a football player standing one yard behind the scrimmage line; he can be a center, a guard, a tackle or an end.

Live ball: a ball thatís in play after a snap or a free kick-off.

Loose ball: a fumbled ball that can be recovered by any of the two football teams.

Midfiled: the middle of the football field marked by the 50-yard line.

Muff: it happens when a football player touches the ball during unsuccessful attempt to get a possession of a loose ball.

Neutral zone: the area of the football field between an offensive and defensive scrimmage lines.

Offense: a team in possession of the ball.

Official: any one of the seven football judges on the field.

Offside: a foul that happens when any part of a football playerís body crosses his line of scrimmage.

Open receiver: a football receiver that is not covered by a player.

Out of bonds: the area, which includes the side and end lines and outside of those lines.

Pass defender: a defensive football player covering an offensive teamís receiver.

Pass interference: an illegal interference by a defensive player to prevent an offensive player from catching a pass.

Penalty: a punishment for the violation of the football rules.

Penalty marker: a small yellow flag put on the ground by a football official to indicate that the rule violation has taken place.

Personal foul: a hard foul that can cause an injury or displays a very bad sportsmanship.

Place kick: a kick when the ball is in the fixed position on the ground standing on the tee or held by a teammate.

Playoffs: the post-season tournament ending with the Super Bowl game for the National Football League championship.

Pocket: the area of the football field behind the offensive scrimmage line where a quarterback is protected by the linemen and where he sets up for a throw.

Point spread: a difference between the scores of the football teams in the upcoming match predicted by the sportsbook.

Possession: it means having and controlling the ball.

Punt: a kick done after a snap 10 yards behind the scrimmage by a football player who drops the ball and kicks it before it can reach the ground.

Pylon: an orange marker placed at the corners of the football end zones.

Quarterback: a football player who is the leader of a teamís offence; he receives the ball after a snap from the center and either hands it to a running back, makes a pass to a receiver or runs with the ball himself.

Receiver: an offensive football player who is supposed to try to catch a forward pass and carry the ball into an end zone.

Recovery: getting a possession of a fumbled ball.

Return: an attempt by a defensive football player who got the ball as the result of the interception, a punt or a kickoff to run with the ball in the opposite direction.

Roll out: a quarterbackís run parallel to the scrimmage line in search of a receiver.

Rush: itís a running play in football.

Sack: it means to tackle down a football quarterback behind his scrimmage line.

Safety: a situation when the ball is dead in the end zone where it was brought to by a ball carrier that was tackled down.

Scrambling: the football quarterbackís maneuvers to avoid sack attempts by the defense.

Series: the sequence of 4 downs with the purpose of gaining 10 yards.

Side lines: the lines on each side of the football field that go from one end line to the opposite one.

Snap: the pass of the football by the center between his legs to the quarterback.

Spike: to throw the football down to the ground intentionally.

Spiral: a football thrown with the strong spinning motion for a better accuracy and longer distance.

Super Bowl: a championship game of the National football League.

Tackle: a football player on offensive and defensive teams positioned on the offensive and defensive lines.

Taking the points: to bet on the underdog and get an advantage in points.

Touchdown: it means crossing with the ball of an opponentís goal line, catching the pass in the end zone or getting a possession of a loose ball in the end zone; a touchdown earns a football team 6 points.

Turnover: loosing the possession of the football because of the fumble or interception.

Underdog: a football team, which is not favored to win the match.

Yardage: the distance lost or gained by the team in result of the play from scrimmage.

Yard lines: the lines crossing at 5 yards intervals the football field parallel to the end lines.

Copyright Progress Publishing Co. 2006

Selected References:

John Scarne  New Complete Guide to Gambling The Gambling Times Guide to Winning Systems
Kelso Sturgeon  Guide to Sports Betting Alice Fleming  Something for Nothing/A History of Gambling
Carl Sifakis  The Encyclopedia of Gambling Alan Wykes   The Complete Illustrated Guide to Gambling
Edwin Silberstang  How to Win Big in Football, Baseball etc. Bert Randolph Sugar  Sports Book of Betting
Diagram Book   Rules of the Game Ralph Hickok  The Encyclopedia of North American Sports History
Dave Ominsky and P.J. Harari  Football Made Simple Charles Fellows   Football Rules Illustrated