Difference Between Football and American Football

Difference Between Football and American Football

The most significant difference between football (soccer) and American football is how they are played, what rules they follow, and what gear they use. Football is played with a round ball; players usually pass, dribble, and score goals in the other team’s net with their feet. There isn’t much physical contact, and most players, except goalkeepers, can’t use their hands. American football is played with an oval-shaped ball. To score touchdowns or field goals, players pass, catch, or run with the ball in their hands. The game has a lot of physical contacts, so players wear helmets and padding to protect themselves.

What is Football?

Football, which most people in the U.S. and Canada call “soccer,” is a popular team sport played by two teams of 11 players each. The main goal is to get a round ball into the opponent’s net and score more goals than the other team.

The game takes place on a pitch, which is a rectangular pitch with a goal at each end. Players mostly use their feet to pass, dribble, and shoot the ball, but they can also control it with their heads and bodies. Players usually can’t use their hands or arms, but goalkeepers can use their hands inside their penalty area.

There are two 45-minute halves and a 15-minute break in between. At the end of the game, the winner is the team with the most goals. If the game ends in a tie, the rules of the competition may call for extra time or a penalty shootout to decide who won.

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is responsible for football, a popular sport worldwide. The FIFA World Cup is the most prestigious and watched football tournament. Because it is easy to learn and play and has a wide appeal, football is the most popular sport globally, with millions of fans and players from different backgrounds.

What is American Football?

American football is a popular team sport mostly played in the United States. It involves two teams of 11 players each. The goal is to score points by moving an oval-shaped ball into the opponent’s end zone for a touchdown or kicking it through the goalposts for a field goal.

The field is a rectangle that is 100 yards long and 160 feet wide. At each end, there are end zones and goalposts. American football is a sport that requires a lot of physical strength. It is made up of strategic plays and a lot of physical contacts. Players wear helmets, shoulder pads, and other padding to keep them safe.

Teams are split into offensive, defensive, and special teams, each of which has its roles and positions. Each team gets four “downs,” which are chances to move the ball 10 yards forward. If they win, they get another set of downs so they can keep moving forward. A game has four 15-minute quarters and a 12-minute break in the middle.

The National Football League (NFL) is the most well-known professional league in the sport, which several organisations also administer. The Super Bowl, the NFL’s annual championship game, is a prominent cultural event in the United States. Millions of people watch it, and the media pays much attention.

Difference Between Football and American Football

Differences in gameplay, rules, and equipment distinguish American football from football (soccer). American football is a contact sport played with an oval-shaped ball by passing, catching, or running for touchdowns or field goals. Football is played with the feet, and the goal is to move a round ball into the opposing team’s goal net. Players try to avoid using their hands in football, while American football players rely heavily on them. The most noticeable differences between football and American football are as follows:

Ball Shape

In football, the ball is round, but in American football, it is oval.


A goal is scored in football when the ball enters the goal of the opposing team, while in American football, points are awarded for touchdowns, field goals, and extra-point conversions.

Playing Surface

The pitch on which the sport of football is played is rectangular, while the field on which American football is played is also rectangular and features end zones and yard lines.


While American football has extensive tackling and blocking, football is considered a low-contact sport due to its rigorous laws limiting physical contact.

Use of Hands

Except for goalkeepers, players are not allowed to use their hands during a game of football. In American football, players throw, catch, and carry the ball with their hands.

Protective Gear

Players in football don’t protect themselves nearly as much as their American football counterparts do, who wear helmets, shoulder pads, and other gear.

Game Duration

American football games are divided into four 15-minute quarters, while a football match is divided into two 45-minute halves.

Player Positions

Positions in football are less rigid, with players often switching between offence and defence. In American football, there are specific roles for both offence and defence and for the special teams.

Number of Chances

There are no possession constraints in football, and the game can go on indefinitely, but in American football, a team has four downs to gain 10 yards before losing the ball.


American football is most popular in the United States, although football (soccer) has a massive international following.