View Full Version : Glossary: F

03-04-2009, 06:19 PM

face mask
The protective grill that forms part of the football helmet.
face mask, grasping
A foul in which a player grabs the face mask or helmet opening of another player's helmet, usually in the process of making a tackle. It results in a 15 yard penalty. A 5-yard penalty was once enforced, but was eliminated in the 2008 NFL's Owners Meeting.
false start
The sudden movement of the offense in an effort to draw the defense offsides.
fair catch
An unhindered catch of an opponent's kick. The player wanting to make one must signal for a fair catch by waving an arm overhead while the ball is in the air. After that signal, if he gains possession of the ball it is dead immediately and opponents will receive a fifteen yard penalty for hitting him.
fantasy football (American)
A game in which the participants (called "owners") each draft on their own or with the aid of software[3] a team of real-life NFL players and then score points based on those players' statistical performance on the field.
field judge
the official traditionally in charge of timekeeping
field of play
the area between both the goal lines and the sidelines, and in some contexts the space vertically above it.
field goal
score of 3 points made by place- or drop-kicking the ball through the opponent's goal other than via a kickoff or free kick following a safety; formerly, "goal from the field". A missed field goal can be returned as a punt, if recovered in-bounds by the defending team. In some leagues, four-point field goals can be scored under special circumstances.
field position
a relative measure of how many yards a team must travel in order to score: "good field position" would mean the offense has less distance to cover.
first down
The first of a set of four downs. Usually, a team which has a first down needs to advance the ball 10 yards to receive another first down, but penalties or field position (i.e. less than 10 yards from the opposing end zone) can affect this.
a player position on offense. A wide receiver who lines up in the backfield outside of another receiver. The term is used infrequently in American Football, having been long since replaced by the "Z" wide receiver.
an area on the field between the line of scrimmage and 10 yards into the defensive backfield, and within 15 yards of the sideline. Running backs often run pass routes to the flat when they are the safety valve receiver.
Flea flicker
a trick play in which a running back throws a backward pass back to the quarterback, who then throws a pass to a wide receiver or tight end.
a formation involving three running backs where a fullback is lined up behind the quarterback and two slotbacks are lined up behind the line of scrimmage at both ends of the offensive line.
An arrangement of the offensive skill players. A formation usually is described in terms of how the running backs line up (e.g. I formation, which refers to the half back is lined up about 7 yard deep, and the fullback is lined up about 5 yards deep, both directly behind the quarterback) or how the wide receivers line up (e.g. Trips left, in which three wide receivers line up to the left of the linemen). Frequently, the formation will allude to both, such as with Strong I Slot Right, in which the halfback is lined up 7 yards deep behind the quarterback, the fullback is 5 yards deep behind the guard or tackle on the strong side, and both wide receivers are lined up on the right side of the offensive line. There are rules limiting what is legal in a formation. All five offensive linemen must be on the line of scrimmage (a small amount of leeway is given to tackles when lined up for pass protection). Also, there must be one receiver (usually one tight end and one wide receiver) lined up on the line on either side of the offensive linemen (it doesn't matter how close they are to the tackles, as long as they are on the line), with a total of no fewer than seven players on the line, 5 of which must be numbered between 50-79. A numbering exception exists if the offense is in a scrimmage kick formation which allows a player whose number is 1-49 or 80-99 to take the place of a lineman numbered 50-79. A receiver who is on the line may not go in motion.
forward pass
a pass that touches a person, object, or the ground closer to the opponent's end line than where it was released from, or is accidentally lost during a forward throwing motion.
fourth down
The final of a set of four downs. Unless a first down is achieved or a penalty forces a replay of the down, the team will lose control of the ball after this play. If a team does not think they can get a first down, they often punt on fourth down or kick a field goal if they are close enough to do so.
fourth down conversion
The act of using a fourth down play to make a first down. These are comparatively uncommon. If a team is close enough, they will generally attempt a field goal on fourth down. Otherwise, they will usually punt. However, the coach may elect to try to get a new first down. This is more likely if the amount of yardage needed for the conversion is small, or if the team is trailing by a significant amount (likelihood of such a try increasing as it gets later in the game).
four-point stance
a down lineman's stance with four points on the ground, in other words, his two feet and his two hands often a technique used in short yardage or goal line situations.
free kick
a kick made to put the ball in play as a kickoff or following a safety (the score; "safety touch" in Canadian football) or fair catch.
free safety (FS)
a player position on defense. Free safeties typically play deep, or "center field", and often have the pass defense responsibility of assisting other defensive backs in deep coverage (compared to strong safeties, who usually have an assigned receiver and run support responsibilities).
fullback (FB)
a player position on offense. Originally, lined up deep behind the quarterback in the T formation. In modern formations this position may be varied, and this player has more blocking responsibilities in comparison to the halfback or tailback.
a ball that a player accidentally lost possession of; in Canadian football the term includes muffs.