Saturday, August 30, 2008

History of football

Football is the word given to a number of similar team sports, all of which involve (to varying degrees) kicking a ball with the foot in an attempt to score a goal. The most popular of these sports world-wide is association football, also known as "soccer" and most commonly just "football". The English language word "football" is also applied to gridiron football (which includes games like American football and Canadian football), Australian rules football, Gaelic football, rugby football (rugby league and rugby union), and related games. Each of these codes (specific sets of rules, or the games defined by them) is referred to as "football".

These games involve:

* two teams of usually between 11 and 18 players. ("Six-man" and "eight-man" football are also played in less-populated parts of the United States).
* a clearly defined area in which to play the game;
* scoring goals and/or points, by moving the ball to an opposing team's end of the field and either into a goal area, or over a line;
* the goal and/or line being defended by the opposing team;
* players being required to move the ball—depending on the code—by kicking, carrying and/or hand passing the ball; and
* goals and/or points resulting from players putting the ball between two goalposts.

In most codes, there are rules restricting the movement of players offside, and players scoring a goal must put the ball either under or over a crossbar between the goalposts. Other features common to several football codes include: points being mostly scored by players carrying the ball across the goal line and; players receiving a free kick after they take a mark/make a fair catch.

Peoples from around the world have played games which involved kicking and/or carrying a ball, since ancient times. However, most of the modern codes of football have their origins in England.

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