Chances are you spent more than a couple of your Friday nights last semester cheering on the home team at your school’s football games, but believe it or not, the biggest game of them all is upon us again… Super Bowl 50! It’s safe to say you’ve got a grasp on high school football, but NFL teams use slightly different rules. Don’t be blindsided by the biggest differences!

High School: Games last 48 minutes with 12-minute quarters.
NFL: Games last 60 minutes with four 15-minute quarters.

High School: While the fields are all the same size, the hashmarks that create boundaries for play are closer to the sidelines, allowing the offense more room to run from side to side.
NFL: With hashmarks that are closer together, NFL action tends to happen toward the middle of the field.

High School: At 23’4″ wide and 20′ high, the goalposts are somewhat shorter and stouter, making field goals a little more achievable for the average high school player.
NFL: The goalposts measure 18’6″ wide and 30′ high, making field goals even tougher.

High School: With relatively few star athletes, many high school teams allow two-way players who assume both offensive and defensive positions.
NFL: With fierce competition for every spot, players will specialize in a single position.

Down & Out
High School: A player is automatically considered “down” if any part of his body besides his feet or hands touches the ground.
NFL: A player is active until he is tackled to the ground by an opponent.

Complete the Pass:
High School:  For a pass to be considered complete, the receiver who catches the ball needs a single foot in bounds.
NFL: The receiver must have both feet in bounds.

High School: Players try to move the ball into the end zone from the three-yard line.
NFL: Play starts from the two-yard line.