Divide four or more players into two equally strong teams. Mark goal lines 100 yards apart (or less depending on the plot’s size) and sidelines 53 yards apart (often ignored); use chalk or light-colored shirts.
Line up your team along its goal line; your opponents line up along theirs. Punt (kick) a football from the goal line down the field. The offense tries to catch the ball as your team (the defense) runs forward to prevent them. When you or a teammate tags an opponent carrying the ball or when the ball hits the ground, the first of that team’s four downs (attempts to score a six-point touchdown at your goal) ends; they have three more.
Place a marker on the field where the ball carrier was tagged. Put the football there. This marks the scrimmage lane for that team’s next down. The offense huddles (groups to discuss strategy) then faces your team at this line. Acting on plans made in the huddle, an offense player snatches the ball and throws it to a team member. Some run forward to receive a pass, others to block your team. If one of your players intercepts a pass. your team becomes the offense.
You can run with the ball toward your opponent’s goal or pass it laterally or backward; you can make a forward pass only after the kickoff play. You can punt the football on the fourth down if you announce it beforehand. If it lands over the goal, your team scores three points.
Each team has four successive downs upon rotation. The game lasts for four 15-minute quarters; the highest score wins.