In North America, high school football (prep football or preps football) is gridiron football played by high school teams. It ranks among the most popular interscholastic sports in both the USA and Canada.
High school football began in the late 19th century, concurrent with the start of many college football programs. In the late 19th and early 20th century, many college and high school teams played against one another. Other traditions of high school football such as pep rallies, marching bands, mascots, and homecomings are mirrored in college football.
American football (known as football in the United States and gridiron in some other countries) is a sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field 120 yards long by 53.33 yards wide with goalposts at each end. The offense attempts to advance an oval ball (the football) down the field by running with or passing it. They must advance it at least ten yards in four downs to receive a new set of four downs and continue the drive; if not, they turn over the football to the opposing team. Points are scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown, kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal or by the defense tackling the ball carrier in the offense's end zone for a safety. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.
American football evolved in the United States, originating from the sport of rugby football. The first game of American football was played on November 6, 1869 between two college teams, Rutgers and Princeton, under rules resembling rugby and soccer. A set of rule changes drawn up from 1880 onward by Walter Camp, the "Father of American Football", established the snap, eleven-player teams and the concept of downs, and later rule changes legalized the forward pass, created the neutral zone and specified the size and shape of the football.
Goal refers to a method of scoring in many sports. It can also refer to the physical structure or area of the playing surface where scoring occurs.
In several sports, a goal is the sole method of scoring, and thus the final score is expressed in the total number of goals scored by each team. In other sports, a goal may be one of several scoring methods, and thus may be worth a different set number of points than the others. A few of these sports use the term field goal to distinguish one scoring method from another.
Gridiron football, or North American football, is football primarily played in the United States and Canada. The predominant forms of gridiron football are American football and Canadian football. Gridiron refers to the sport's characteristic playing field, which is marked with a series of parallel lines resembling a gridiron.
"Gridiron" football developed in the late 19th century out of the older games related to the games now known as rugby football and association football. It is distinguished from other football codes by its use of helmets and shoulder pads, the forward pass, the system of downs, a line of scrimmage, more specialist positions and formations, free substitution, platooning of different players for offense and defense, measurements in yards, a distinctive brown leather ball in the shape of a prolate spheroid, and the ability to score points while not in possession of the ball by way of the safety. Walter Camp is credited with creating many of the rules that differentiate gridiron football from its older counterparts.