Tag Archives: First and Ten

Down and Distance

7 Feb

chain crew3
(Chain Crew)

You will routinely hear TV announcers use the expressions “first and ten” or “three and out” to describe the actions of a team’s offensive unit during a game.  They are referring to the “down and distance”.  A “down” is nothing more than a play.  From the second the ball is snapped — or “put into play” — to the moment the action is stopped by the officials that is one “play”.

To maintain possession of the football, offenses are given four plays or “downs” to either score or gain the yardage necessary to be awarded a “first down” which is another set of four downs.  Generally the yardage needed to gain a first down is ten yards but that can change due to penalties or tackles that result in lost yardage.

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