Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between NFL and AFL

football-americanNFL vs AFL

American football, or simply football, is the national pastime which combines physical play with strategic team sport. The objective of the game is for each team to score points by advancing the football to the end zone of the opposing team. In the US, however, there are two leagues which people usually confuse: The NFL and the AFL.

First, there’s NFL, which refers to the National Football League. It’s the highest level of professional football in the US. Looking back, the league was first formed by 11 teams in 1920. It was only a couple of years later that the league was officially named NFL, with its previous moniker being the American Professional Football Association. Today, there are 32 teams which make up the National Football League.

Secondly, there’s the Arena Football League, which was founded in 1987. The AFL consists of 15 teams, and it was founded by Jim Foster. It is specifically classified as arena, or indoor American football. The result is that when compared to the NFL, which is a huge game, AFL is played at a faster pace, with high scores incurred by each team in each game.

There are also a lot of other small differences between the AFL and the NFL. The length of the field of the AFL measures 50 yards, while the NFL has double that measurement, at 100 yards. When it comes to the teams and plays, the AFL has a 20-man active and 4-man inactive roster ‘“ while the NFL has an unlimited roster. Although both leagues employ a 15-minute, four-quarter timing system, they differ in the length of halftime. For AFL, it’s 15 minutes, while for the NFL, it’s only 12 minutes. The time between plays is 25 seconds for the AFL, while it’s 40 seconds for the NFL.


1. The NFL is generally classified as outdoor American football, while the AFL is indoor American football.

2. The NFL has a field length of 100 yards, while the AFL has a field length of 50 yards.

3. The NFL has an unlimited roster, while the AFL has a 20-man active and 4-man inactive roster.

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