Football is one of the most popular sports in the United States, in both professional and college arenas. Many families start boys on the football field early with Pop Warner and high school programs, and both boys and girls can be big fans of the sport off the field. Since football incorporates large teams and set rules, it teaches kids important lessons about teamwork and sportsmanship. It's easy and fun to quiz kids on their football knowledge, to get them thinking.
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Ask kids about the players and team to get them thinking about each person's roles and responsibilities. What player throws the ball (quarterback)? Who catches it (receiver)? Who stands behind the quarterback to run with the ball (running back)? What is the team with the ball called (offence)? And the team without the ball (defence)? Who do you think is the most important player, and why?
Challenge kids to show their knowledge about the rules of the game, and interpret them. How many yards does the team with the ball have to get for a first down (10 yards)? How many downs do they get (four)? How do they score (touchdown or field goal, safety, extra point)? What happens after they score?
Encourage kids to think about teamwork and sportsmanship by asking them some interpretive questions about penalties and attitude on the field. What's a penalty? How does a player get a penalty? Should players help other players up off the ground, even if they're on opposite teams? Is it OK for one player to knock another down when he doesn't have the ball? Why do the teams shake hands before and after the game?
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