A Football player running 

American football Facts

American football

The development of American football began in the second half of the 19th century in the United States, when there emerged a game composed of variants of rugby and football.

As the rules evolved (e.g., the introduction of the forward pass), American football evolved into a game in which tactical and mental elements are just as crucial to the outcome of the game as physical and athletic factors.

In American football, various elements are combined with each other, whereby athletes with the most diverse physical and mental conditions contribute to the success of the team.

American football combines the disciplines of tackle and flag football in Switzerland.

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American football facts & figures

In Switzerland

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licensed players in Switzerland

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Annual games in Switzerland

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Associations in Switzerland

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SAFV founded in



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With almost 1 billion TV-viewers one of the biggest events worldwide

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IFAF (International Federation of American Football) members

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Million fans across the globe

Tackle football

The term american football is usually understood as the variant of tackle football. American football, or in short just football, is a ball sport with its origin in the United States.

In a football game, two teams compete against each other. A football game is divided into four 15 (or 12) minute quarters. Both teams are divided into three “teams”, which are called offense, defense and special teams. Each of these teams consists of 11 players. Thus, 11 players from each of the two teams compete against each other at the same time. The goal of the two teams competing against each other is to get the football into the opponent’s end zone (touchdown) or to score a field goal (kick between the goal posts) to score points.

Yards can be gained by the team in possession of the ball (offense) either by passing or running plays. Such an offensive effort (drive) is ideally completed with a touchdown (six points). However, a field goal also results in points (three points). The defending team, for its part, tries to prevent the offense from gaining yards and scoring points, and to gain possession of the ball itself.

At the start of a drive, a team’s offense has four attempts to gain at least ten yards. If it succeeds, it gets four new attempts to gain another ten yards. If the offense fails to gain ten yards or loses the ball due to an interception (opponent`s defense intercepts a pass) or a fumble (offense player loses the ball, which is secured by a defense player) the opponent gains the possibility to start with its own offense. If the defense can push the offense back into its own end zone and tackle the opponent’s ball carrier there, it can score a safety (two points).

The winner of a football game is the team that has scored the most points at the end of the game.

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Flag football player is running, the defender trying to jump and catch the flag.
A wonderfull catch in flag football.
Children playing flag football. A boy runs with the ball fully concentrated.
Duel of two people in flag football.
Three people try to catch the Football
Two people playing flag football.

Flag football

Generally, flag football is based on the same rules as tackle football and also very similar to it. Touchdown, offense, defense and safety also exist in flag football. Flag football also stands for fast runs and spectacular passes. The essential and eponymous difference is that flag football is played completely without contact. Instead of physically tackling someone, the pulling of the flag is considered a tackle.

For the 2005 season, the binding “Flag Football Rules” were published for the first time as an independent set of rules. These are still closely based on the rules of tackle football.

According to the rules of the «International Federation of American Football», an official game includes two teams. These are divided into offense and defense. Five players from each team compete against each other at the same time. The offense consists of the center, the quarterback and three other catching or carrying players.

A game of flag football is divided into two halves of 20 minutes each. The goal of the two teams competing against each other is to gain yards and get the football into the opponent’s end zone (touchdown).

A game always starts at the 5 yard line. From there, the offense has four attempts to get to the middle of the field. If it succeeds, the offense gets four more attempts to make it to the end zone. If the offense does not make it, possession changes and the opposing team comes onto the field with their offense.

In flag football, long-range running and passing lead to success. It demands speed and agility from the players. Since physical force cannot be used against the opponent, the risk of injury is also reduced compared to tackle football.