Games- 19th Century – 21st Century
Soccer, also known as associated football, is a very popular team sport that is played globally. Various versions of soccer have been around since as early as 1500 BC! Soccer as we know it started in the mid 19th century, and is a result of global efforts to standardize the rules of the game around the world. However, the first “rule book” of soccer (or football) was written in 1633 in Scotland. Since its humble beginnings, soccer has swelled into a much-loved sport played by over 240 million people in 200 countries.
Soccer is not an easy sport, what makes soccer so difficult is that none of the players, except the goalkeeper, can use their arms to touch the ball. And, throughout history, not everyone has loved soccer…in 1314 Edward II of England banned soccer in London, in 1349 Edward III banned soccer in favor of archery, in 1424 James I of Scotland banned soccer, in 1555 Oxford University banned soccer, in 1574 Cambridge University banned soccer, in 1747 Eton College banned soccer, in 1750 Rugby, Harrow, Charterhouse, Shrewsbury, and Winchester colleges all banned soccer, and in 1835 the “Highway Act” banned the playing of soccer in public streets.
As a spectator sport, soccer invokes passion in its fans like almost no other! It has been the cause of riots, war, peace, and millions of sore throats! It is no wonder that it is said that soccer is the most popular sport in the world.
Special equipment is needed to play soccer and the rules are strict. Players must wear specific types of shirts, shorts, socks, foot ware, and shin guards. They are restricted against wearing any type of jewelry or watches to avoid injury to themselves or other players. Goalkeepers must wear different clothing so that they can be easily set apart by the other players and game officials.
Soccer is played on a flat grass field that measures 110 x 80 yards and has sidelines and goal lines market clearly on it. The soccer field also has two rectangular goals, one at each end.
A standard adult soccer game consists of two forty-five minute periods with fifteen-minute half-time break.
Soccer is enjoyed by millions of children around the world as well and there are governing bodies for both children and adult games on national and international levels. Soccer is also broken down into Men and Women’s soccer. Each of these divisions holds many competitions at the highest of international levels. Woman’s soccer has come into its own as an athletic center of influence in the last several years.
Soccer matches can be viewed on television, through the internet, and, of course, through the various forms of print media.