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Five American Football rules you need to know for the Croke Park Classic

Five American Football rules you need to know for the Croke Park Classic

25th August 2014

The University of Central Florida will face off against Penn State University in the Croke Park Classic, which takes place in Dublin on August 30th.

There is a whole series of events taking place around the game. Temple Bar will become a Croke Park Classic fanzone over the weekend from Thursday, August 28th to Sunday August 31st providing travelling fans and locals with an area to mix and mingle and get behind their chosen teams. Both teams Pep Rallies will be hosted here on Friday 29th and the pre-game Tailgate Party will also take place here on the morning of Saturday 30th. Dublin Bus will offer a complimentary shuttle service from Temple Bar to Croke Park to take fans from the Tailgate to the game. To see the full guide to all Croke Park Classic events, download the GridIron Guide Dublin.

The Croke Park Classic game spectacle will be a full days entertainment for all the family featuring parachute jumps, the Penn State marching band, Extreme Rhythm, The Dublin Gospel Choir, cheerleaders, team mascots and the Super 11’s. Tickets including a special August Family Ticket Offer are still available for the event.

Here are the five key American Football rules you need to know:


The purpose of American football is to move the ball towards the opposition's end zone and ultimately into their end zone (a touchdown). This is achieved by either running with the ball until tackled, or throwing the ball down field to a team mate.


1. Downs are the most fundamental part of NFL play. The offensive team moves the ball forward in sections of at least 10 yards. They have four chances (or downs) to gain those 10 yards.  Each time the ball is advanced at least 10 yards within their four chances, another first down is earned, with four more chances to go a further 10 yards.

2. If the offensive team fails to move 10 yards within four downs, possession is surrendered. However, the ball is usually kicked/ punted to the defending team on fourth down.

3. A touchdown is worth six points, and is scored when a team crosses the opposition's goal line with the ball, or catches or collects the ball in the end zone.

4. A Field goal is worth three points. Field goals are usually attempted on fourth down if the kicker is close enough to the end zone to kick the ball through the posts.

5.There are 11, players on each team.  With four 15 minute quarters per game. Each team is entitled to three time-outs per half.

Tickets are on sale for the Croke Park Classic through and