Lost in translation: Terminology differences between English and American football

Football is among the most loved sports in the world. It’s famous for its global appeal, spectators, and unrivaled unpredictability. The fact that two separate organizations govern football worldwide adds to its unique nature. However, it is only part of a global sport as two different kinds of football exist: American football is played in America, while English football is played in England.

Image: soccer game

Although they both go by the name football, they have differences in their rules or terminologies. It makes it hard for a football fan to choose which version of the game to follow. Furthermore, it is more complicated if one lives outside America or England and wants to support their favorite teams but does not understand what happens during matches. 

As a result, this guide will provide an overview of the differences between these two kinds of football. Read on to get informed.

Field terminology

The playing field is the area of the stadium or other playing venue where the players compete. American football is called a field; in England, it’s called a pitch.

The American football field is 100 yards long and 53 1/3 yards wide. There are 10-yard lines marked on the area every five yards. There are also hash marks at every 10 yards to indicate where you must snap the ball while playing.

In England, football pitches are made of grass and are much smaller than American fields—the most extended rise is 112 to 115 yards long and 68 1/2 yards wide. The goalposts are at each pitch end with a crossbar 10 feet above ground level.

Uniform terminology

The terms kit and uniform are used to refer to the clothing worn by players on a football team, but they are different.

Kit refers to the clothes themselves, while uniform refers to the colours and patterns used on their clothing. 

In England, you can purchase kits from various places throughout the year. Players can wear any colour or pattern of shirt and shorts in any combination. In contrast, American football players have only one uniform at a time, each wearing a specific colour jersey and pants for every game.

While American football has an official uniform policy for its teams, no rule dictates what colours or patterns they allow on jerseys. Instead, these decisions are from individual groups based on their preferences or traditions.

Match terminology

In football matches, the terminology used can differ from country to country. In the USA, for instance, you can refer to a game as a match—which is why Americans call the sport football. 

The term fixture is used by people living in England to describe a game or match. However, this term is also sometimes used to refer to fixtures within individual leagues, for instance a series of games between two teams.

Betting terminology

Wager vs bet

In the English language, bet refers to the act of placing money on a sporting event. It’s used in betting parlors and online non Gamstop casino like Bet365 and Betbeard. 

However, In American football, bet refers to a wager between two or more parties—usually players or gamblers. A bet is made on how many points a team will score in a game. If you bet on whichever team wins, they will pay your wager off at the end of the game with money returned to you.

Treble vs parlay

In English, treble means scoring three goals within one period to win the match. In American football, you can call this a parlay, and three touchdowns scored at once wins the game.

Fixed odds vs Point spread

Fixed Odds: In American football, they say a bettor has fixed odds when they place a bet on a team. However, the money they receive from their chance depends on the point spread. For instance, if the non gamstop betting favorite has a 2-point lead over the underdog at kickoff, they win by 7 points. Then the favorite receives 2 points on their win and loses 1 point on their loss.

Point Spread: In English football, an oddsmaker sets up a game with a fixed amount of money called odds that either team can win. It can include points scored or points allowed by each team during games. Different point spreads also depend on how many teams play each game. Single game point spread 1 game, season point spread 2 games, doubleheader point spread 3 games.

Lucky 15 vs Round Robin

All bets in American football are made using round robin, meaning each team plays the other once. It implies that every game has a winner and a loser—rather than one winner and one loser. In the round robin, there is no lucky 15.

In England, all games are played on lucky 15—meaning that if you bet on specific game results, it doesn’t matter if they happen this week or next. Instead, all games will happen simultaneously due to their date and location.

Other terminology

Boot vs Cleats for footwear

In American football, boot refers to players’ cleats. In contrast, in English football, boot refers to the footwear players wear.

Nil vs Zero for scorekeeping.

In American football, a nil score means there was no play, and the opposing team is awarded one point. In English football, a zero score means no play, and the opposing team is awarded zero points.

Image:Goal keeper 

Discover the incredible sports terminology of football

As the popularity of American Football grows, it’s important to keep vigil over the language used within the setting, to understand the nuances within their profession. Learning the various phrases and expressions used within the environment is essential. Also, understanding how to phrase certain words will take your enjoyment and knowledge of your sport to a new level.

Lost in translation: Terminology differences between English and American football

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