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American Football 101 Offered as Fun and Educational Seminar for ODU International Students

It's pretty obvious why football players wear helmets, but why is the ball so strangely shaped? Why is it kicked sometimes, passed other times and carried at still other times? And how do you keep score?

These are the types of questions international students might ask when watching their first football game. And since Old Dominion University has more than 1,000 students from other countries (113 to be exact), ODU's Office of Intercultural Relations (OIR) annually hosts a seminar to explain the game to these football newbies.

This year's seminar will be from 12:30-2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, at the Intercultural Center, located at 2114 Webb Center.

American Football 101 is part of OIR's Discover America series, billed as an opportunity for international students to connect with American people, life and culture.

It's the third year that American Football 101 has been held, and it's one of the most popular Discover America events that OIR runs, according to Aey Wongtrirat, assistant director of international initiatives.

"These students come from countries with their own sporting traditions, but they're very curious about America, and what's more American than football?" Wongtrirat said.

The program will teach attendees the rules of American football, and there will be an opportunity to meet and take pictures with members of the ODU football team. The students can even snack on such traditional tailgate fare as chicken fingers and nachos.

The event is free for the ODU community, but geared largely to international students. To RSVP, go to http://bit.ly/oirfootball101.

Wongtrirat said plans are also under way to take the international students' football experience to the end zone. OIR will host an International Tailgate for ODU's second home game, Sept. 15 against Campbell. A designated parking lot will feature international decorations and food, all leading up to the big game.

For more information about the Discover America series or any other OIR program, send an email to oir@odu.edu or call 757-683-4406.