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How Many Positions Are There In Football

How Many Positions Are There In Football

Fancy learning about football positions? You’re in luck! In this article, you’ll get a quick look at the different roles on the field. Knowing which position is best for you helps in truly understanding football.

Let’s jump right in and figure out how many positions there are in football!


Football, also known as soccer in some areas, is a sport with 11 players on each team. Each player takes on a different position. Four main roles exist: Goalkeeper, Defender, Midfielder and Forward.

  • The Goalkeeper is the only one who can touch the ball with their hands. They guard the goal post from the opposing team’s attempts to score.
  • Defenders block passes and shots towards the goal, stopping the opposition from scoring.
  • Midfielders control and distribute the ball to their teammates, creating opportunities to score.
  • Forwards, also known as strikers, penetrate the opposing defense and shoot the ball past the goalkeeper.

Many other formations and variations exist that require different roles and areas of focus for players.

The Number of Players in a Football Team

A football team consists of 11 players on the field at any given time. But, the total number of players may vary. Here are the different positions:

  1. Goalkeeper – This player defends the goal post and is the only one who can use their hands.
  2. Defenders – They stop the other team from scoring goals and protect their own goal.
  3. Midfielders – They control the pace of the game, and link defense and offense.
  4. Forwards – They score goals and help other players do so.

The coaching staff may change the formation to reach team goals, which will affect the squad’s number of players. Pro Tip: Each position has different skills, and players must work together for team success.

Different Types of Football Positions

Football is a game with several positions. Each has its own duties. 11 players per team, each with a unique position.

Here are some of them:

  1. Goalkeeper. The only one who can use hands. Positioned in front of the goal to block opponents’ attempts at scoring.
  2. Defenders. Located in front of the goalkeeper. Their role is to stop opponents from scoring.
  3. Midfielders. Between defenders and attackers. They move the ball from defense to attack.
  4. Forwards/Attackers. Closest to the opponents’ goal. Responsible for scoring.
  5. Sweeper/Libero. Behind the other defenders. Intercept passes that go past the defense.

By understanding the different positions in football, you can gain an appreciation for each role in a team’s gameplay.

Offensive Positions

Football has 11 players on the field. These players are split into two categories: offensive and defensive. The 5 main offensive positions are: QB, RB, WR, TE, and OL.

  • The QB is the leader of the offense. They throw passes and direct the team’s strategy.
  • The RB’s job is to run with the ball, either from the QB or from a pass.
  • The WR catches passes from the QB, then runs with the ball.
  • The TE combines being a WR and an OL. They catch passes and block.
  • Lastly, the OL protects the QB and creates running lanes for the RBs.

Remember, each position is important for a successful play. Teamwork is key!

Defensive Positions

Football has 11 players. Each has a distinct role. There are 4 defensive positions. All have special tasks and strategies.

  1. Defensive End – outermost end of defensive line. Stops offense from running wide. Pressures QB for sack.
  2. Defensive Tackle – between defensive ends. Blocks run. Collapses pocket. Engages with offensive linemen to stop them from blocking linebackers.
  3. Linebacker – behind defensive line. Tackles ball carriers. Drops back in coverage. Blitzes QB.
  4. Cornerback – on edges of defensive formation. Covers receivers. Keeps them from catching the ball.

All must work together, communicate well & know their roles to execute a successful defensive strategy.

Special Teams Positions

American football has three divisions: offense, defense and special teams. Special teams are key to the game’s outcome.

Various special team positions exist, with each having its own duties. For instance:

  • Long Snapper: They snap the ball to the holder or punter for field goals, extra points and punts.
  • Punter: They kick the ball away from the end zone to the opposing team. Different kicks are used to control the ball’s distance and direction.
  • Kickoff Specialist: They kick off to opposing team at the start of each half and after a score.
  • Gunner: They cover punts and kickoffs before the ball is caught by the opposition.
  • Kick Returner: They catch and return kickoffs and punts, needing great speed and agility.

The value of these positions cannot be underestimated when it comes to a team’s success.

Coaching Positions

Football has various coaching roles, each needing a combo of experience, knowledge, and skills. Each role has its own purpose to help the team perform well:

  • Head Coach: Oversees coaching staff, devises strategy and decides on player personnel.
  • Offensive Coordinator: Designs and implements offensive strategy – game planning, play-calling, and offensive schemes.
  • Defensive Coordinator: In charge of defensive strategy, game planning, play-calling, and defensive schemes.
  • Special Teams Coordinator: Manages special teams – kickoffs, punts, and field goals. Works with head coach on game plans to make best use of special teams.
  • Position Coaches: Each position on team has one coach to train players. Coaches teach skill sets, watch game film, and provide feedback and strategies for better performance.

Pro Tip: Football coaching needs good communication, strategic planning, and leadership. The best coaches also know their players’ strengths and weaknesses, and understand the game’s technical aspects.


To wrap it up, football has 11 positions. These roles are spread across offense, defense, and special teams.

On offense, there are 5 roles: quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, and offensive lineman. The quarterback is the leader and makes decisions. The running back helps the quarterback and carries the ball. Wide receivers and tight ends catch the passes from the QB. Offensive linemen guard the QB and running back.

On defense, 5 more positions: defensive tackle, defensive end, linebacker, cornerback, and safety. Defensive tackles and ends stop the offense’s running game. Linebackers guard against running and passing plays. Cornerbacks and safeties block long passes and stop touchdowns.

Lastly, special teams has one role: kicker or punter. This team kicks and punts the ball and attempts field goals during a game.

Pro tip: It’s important to know each player’s role and responsibility to understand football strategies and tactics.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How many positions are there in football?

A: There are 11 positions in football on each team, including a goalkeeper, defenders, midfielders, and forwards.

Q: What does the goalkeeper do in football?

A: The goalkeeper’s main job is to protect the goal and prevent the opposition from scoring.

Q: How many defenders are there in football?

A: Typically, there are 4 defenders in football, including 2 center-backs and 2 full-backs.

Q: What is the role of a midfielder in football?

A: Midfielders play a crucial role in controlling the game, linking defense and attack, and creating scoring opportunities for the team.

Q: What are the responsibilities of a forward in football?

A: Forwards are responsible for scoring goals and creating chances for themselves and their teammates.

Q: Can players switch positions during a football match?

A: Yes, players can switch positions during a football match depending on the team’s tactics or the coach’s instructions.