The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league that consists of 32 teams, divided equally between the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC). The NFL is one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada and the highest professional level of American football in the world. Each NFL season begins with a three-week preseason in August, followed by the 18-week regular season which runs from early September to early January, with each team playing 17 games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, seven teams from each conference (four division winners and three wild card teams) advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament that culminates in the Super Bowl, which is contested in February and is played between the AFC and NFC conference champions. The league is headquartered in New York City.
On August 20, 1920, a meeting was held by representatives of the Akron Pros, Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Indians, and Dayton Triangles at the Jordan and Hupmobile auto showroom in Canton, Ohio. This meeting resulted in the formation of the American Professional Football Conference (APFC), a group who, according to the Canton Evening Repository, intended to "raise the standard of professional football in every way possible, to eliminate bidding for players between rival clubs and to secure cooperation in the formation of schedules".
The NFL was always the largest professional football league in the United States; it nevertheless faced numerous rival professional leagues through the 1930s and 1940s. Rival leagues included at least three separate American Football Leagues and the All-America Football Conference (AAFC), on top of various regional leagues of varying caliber. Three NFL teams trace their histories to these rival leagues; the Los Angeles Rams who came from a 1936 iteration of the American Football League, and the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers, both from the AAFC. By the 1950s, the NFL had an effective monopoly on professional football in the United States; its only competition in North America was the professional Canadian football circuit, which formally became the Canadian Football League (CFL) in 1958. With Canadian football being a different football code than the American game, the CFL established a niche market in Canada and still survives as an independent league.
At the corporate level, the National Football League considers itself a trade association made up of and financed by its 32 member teams. Up until 2015, the league was an unincorporated nonprofit 501(c)(6) association. Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code provides an exemption from federal income taxation for "Business leagues, chambers of commerce, real-estate boards, boards of trade, or professional football leagues (whether or not administering a pension fund for football players), not organized for profit and no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual." In contrast, each individual team (except the non-profit Green Bay Packers) is subject to tax because they make a profit.
The commissioner is elected by the affirmative vote of two-thirds or eighteen (whichever is greater) of the members of the league, while the president of each conference is elected by an affirmative vote of three-fourths or 10 of the conference members. The commissioner appoints the secretary and treasurer and has broad authority in disputes between clubs, players, coaches, and employees. He is the "principal executive officer" of the NFL and also has authority in hiring league employees, negotiating television contracts, disciplining individuals that own part or all of an NFL team, clubs, or employed individuals of an NFL club if they have violated league by-laws or committed "conduct detrimental to the welfare of the League or professional football". The commissioner can, in the event of misconduct by a party associated with the league, suspend individuals, hand down a fine of up to US$500,000, cancel contracts with the league, and award or strip teams of draft picks.
Each NFL club is granted a franchise, the league's authorization for the team to operate in its home city. This franchise covers 'Home Territory' (the 75 miles surrounding the city limits, or, if the team is within 100 miles of another league city, half the distance between the two cities) and 'Home Marketing Area' (Home Territory plus the rest of the state the club operates in, as well as the area the team operates its training camp in for the duration of the camp). Each NFL member has the exclusive right to host professional football games inside its Home Territory and the exclusive right to advertise, promote, and host events in its Home Marketing Area. There are a couple of exceptions to this rule, mostly relating to teams with close proximity to each other: teams that operate in the same city (e.g. New York City and Los Angeles) or the same state (e.g. California, Florida, and Texas) share the rights to the city's Home Territory and the state's Home Marketing Area, respectively.
The 32 teams are organized into eight geographic divisions of four teams each. These divisions are further organized into two conferences, the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference. The two-conference structure has its origins in a time when major American professional football was organized into two independent leagues, the National Football League and its younger rival, the American Football League. The leagues merged 1970, adopting the older league's name and reorganizing slightly to ensure the same number of teams in both conferences.
Most NFL games are played on Sundays, with a Monday night game typically held at least once a week and Thursday night games occurring on most weeks as well. NFL games are not normally played on Fridays or Saturdays until late in the regular season, as federal law prohibits professional football leagues from competing with college or high school football. Because high school and college teams typically play games on Friday and Saturday, respectively, the NFL cannot hold games on those days until the Friday before the third Saturday in December. While Saturday games late in the season are common, the league rarely holds Friday games, the most recent one being on Christmas Day in 2020. NFL games are rarely scheduled for Tuesday or Wednesday, and those days have only been used three times since 1948: in 2010, when a Sunday game was rescheduled to Tuesday due to a blizzard; in 2012, when the Kickoff game was moved from Thursday to Wednesday to avoid conflict with the Democratic National Convention; and in 2020, when a game was postponed from Sunday to Tuesday due to players testing positive for COVID-19.
The Los Angeles Chargers have partnered with Inglewood Unified School District to host a series of Play 60 youth football camps for 1,400 students in the area. NFL Play 60 is the league's national youth and wellness campaign that encourages kids to get physically active for at least 60 minutes a day.
CIF is expected to vote Friday to make girls flag football an official high school sport in California, less than a week after the sport's championship tournament at Redondo Union High School, sponsored by the Chargers in partnership with Gatorade and Nike.
The Chargers, in collaboration with Ducommun, Inc. and UC Irvine, hosted the 5th annual "STEM on the Sidelines," an engineering challenge for high school students in Southern California. Students designed and built their own football-launching robots to square off in a competition at SoFi Stadium in December. Presented by Ducommun, Inc.
The 5th annual "STEM on the Sidelines" engineering challenge took place on Saturday, Dec 10th, at SoFi Stadium. STEM on the Sidelines is a collaboration between Ducommun, Inc., UC Irvine, and the Los Angeles Chargers. High school teams from Orange and LA counties designed, built, and coded their own custom football launchers to score maximum points. After an exciting and fierce competition, University High School in Irvine, CA rose above to claim 1st place.
The Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year award honors high school football coaches that display the integrity, achievement, and leadership exemplified by the winningest coach in NFL history, Don Shula.
Whether it's promoting new youth and high school football safety standards, encouraging active, health living, supporting players' philanthropic efforts, or promoting character education training and programming for young athletes and students alike, the NFL Foundation's impact extends well beyond the game 041b061a72