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Football


Football is a family of team sports that involve, to varying degrees, kicking a ball with the foot to score a goal. Unqualified, the word football is understood to refer to whichever form of football is the most popular in the regional context in which the word appears. Sports commonly called 'football' in certain places include: association football (known as soccer in some countries); gridiron football (specifically American football or Canadian football); Australian rules football; rugby football (either rugby league or rugby union); and Gaelic football. These different variations of football are known as football codes.

Various forms of football can be identified in history, often as popular peasant games. Contemporary codes of football can be traced back to the codification of these games at English public schools during the nineteenth century. The expanse of the British Empire allowed these rules of football to spread to areas of British influence outside of the directly controlled Empire. By the end of the nineteenth century, distinct regional codes were already developing: Gaelic football, for example, deliberately incorporated the rules of local traditional football games in order to maintain their heritage. In 1888, The Football League was founded in England, becoming the first of many professional football competitions. During the twentieth century, several of the various kinds of football grew to become some of the most popular team sports in the world.


Football Cambridge rules (1848–1863) Association football (1863–)
Indoor
Beach (1992–)
Futsal (1930–)
Sheffield rules (1857–1877)
Paralympic
Street
Rugby Union with minor modifications American football (1869-) Flag football, Arena football (1987–)
Rugby rules
Canadian football (1861–) Flag football
Rugby union (1871–)
Rugby sevens (1883–)
Rugby league (1895–)
Nines
Rugby league sevens
Touch football
Rugby rules and other English public school games Australian rules (1859–) International rules (1967–)
Gaelic (1887–)

  • Two teams of usually between 11 and 18 players; some variations that have fewer players (five or more per team) are also popular.
  • A clearly defined area in which to play the game.
  • Scoring goals 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.
  • Goals or points resulting from players putting the ball between two goalposts.
  • The goal or line being defended by the opposing team.
  • Players being required to move the ball—depending on the code—by kicking, carrying, or hand-passing the ball.
  • Players using only their body to move the ball.
  • "a football", in the sense of a ball rather than a game, was first mentioned in 1486. This reference is in Dame Juliana Berners' Book of St Albans. It states: "a certain rounde instrument to play with ...it is an instrument for the foote and then it is calde in Latyn 'pila pedalis', a fotebal."
  • a pair of football boots was ordered by King Henry VIII of England in 1526.
  • women playing a form of football was first described in 1580 by Sir Philip Sidney in one of his poems: "[a] tyme there is for all, my mother often sayes, When she, with skirts tuckt very hy, with girles at football playes."
  • the first references to goals are in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. In 1584 and 1602 respectively, John Norden and Richard Carew referred to "goals" in Cornish hurling. Carew described how goals were made: "they pitch two bushes in the ground, some eight or ten foote asunder; and directly against them, ten or twelue [twelve] score off, other twayne in like distance, which they terme their Goales". He is also the first to describe goalkeepers and passing of the ball between players.
  • the first direct reference to scoring a goal is in John Day's play The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green (performed circa 1600; published 1659): "I'll play a gole at camp-ball" (an extremely violent variety of football, which was popular in East Anglia). Similarly in a poem in 1613, Michael Drayton refers to "when the Ball to throw, And drive it to the Gole, in squadrons forth they goe".
  • Five-a-side football – played throughout the world under various rules including:
    • Futebol de Salão
    • Futsal – the FIFA-approved five-a-side indoor game
    • Minivoetbal – the five-a-side indoor game played in East and West Flanders where it is extremely popular
    • Papi fut – the five-a-side game played in outdoor basketball courts (built with goals) in Central America.
  • Indoor soccer – the six-a-side indoor game, the Latin American variant (fútbol rápido, "fast football") is often played in open-air venues
  • Masters Football – six-a-side played in Europe by mature professionals (35 years and older)
  • Futebol de Salão
  • Futsal – the FIFA-approved five-a-side indoor game
  • Minivoetbal – the five-a-side indoor game played in East and West Flanders where it is extremely popular
  • Papi fut – the five-a-side game played in outdoor basketball courts (built with goals) in Central America.
  • American football – called "football" in the United States and Canada, and "gridiron" in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Canadian football – called simply "football" in Canada; "football" in Canada can mean either Canadian or American football depending on context. All of the variants listed for American football are also attested for Canadian football.
  • Flag football – non-contact variant in which a flag attached to a player is removed to indicate a tackle.
  • Indoor football, arena football – indoor variants
  • Australian rules football – officially known as "Australian football", and informally as "football", "footy" or "Aussie rules". In some areas it is referred to as "AFL", the name of the main organising body and competition
    • Auskick – a version of Australian rules designed by the AFL for young children
    • Metro footy (or Metro rules footy) – a modified version invented by the USAFL, for use on gridiron fields in North American cities (which often lack grounds large enough for conventional Australian rules matches)
    • Kick-to-kick – informal versions of the game
    • 9-a-side footy – a more open, running variety of Australian rules, requiring 18 players in total and a proportionally smaller playing area (includes contact and non-contact varieties)
    • Rec footy – "Recreational Football", a modified non-contact variation of Australian rules, created by the AFL, which replaces tackles with tags
    • Touch Aussie Rules – a non-tackle variation of Australian Rules played only in the United Kingdom
    • Samoa rules – localised version adapted to Samoan conditions, such as the use of rugby football fields
    • Masters Australian football (a.k.a. Superules) – reduced contact version introduced for competitions limited to players over 30 years of age
    • Women's Australian rules football – women's competition played with a smaller ball and (sometimes) reduced contact
  • Gaelic football – Played predominantly in Ireland. Commonly referred to as "football" or "Gaelic"
  • International rules football – a compromise code used for games between Gaelic and Australian Rules players
  • Auskick – a version of Australian rules designed by the AFL for young children
  • Metro footy (or Metro rules footy) – a modified version invented by the USAFL, for use on gridiron fields in North American cities (which often lack grounds large enough for conventional Australian rules matches)
  • Kick-to-kick – informal versions of the game
  • 9-a-side footy – a more open, running variety of Australian rules, requiring 18 players in total and a proportionally smaller playing area (includes contact and non-contact varieties)
  • Rec footy – "Recreational Football", a modified non-contact variation of Australian rules, created by the AFL, which replaces tackles with tags
  • Touch Aussie Rules – a non-tackle variation of Australian Rules played only in the United Kingdom
  • Samoa rules – localised version adapted to Samoan conditions, such as the use of rugby football fields
  • Masters Australian football (a.k.a. Superules) – reduced contact version introduced for competitions limited to players over 30 years of age
  • Women's Australian rules football – women's competition played with a smaller ball and (sometimes) reduced contact
  • Keepie uppie (keep up) – the art of juggling with a football using the feet, knees, chest, shoulders, and head.
    • Footbag – several variations using a small bean bag or sand bag as a ball, the trade marked term hacky sack is sometimes used as a generic synonym.
    • Freestyle football – participants are graded for their entertainment value and expression of skill.
  • Footbag – several variations using a small bean bag or sand bag as a ball, the trade marked term hacky sack is sometimes used as a generic synonym.
  • Freestyle football – participants are graded for their entertainment value and expression of skill.
  • Eisenberg, Christiane and Pierre Lanfranchi, eds. (2006): Football History: International Perspectives; Special Issue, Historical Social Research 31, no. 1. 312 pages.
  • Green, Geoffrey (1953); The History of the Football Association; Naldrett Press, London
  • Mandelbaum, Michael (2004); The Meaning of Sports; Public Affairs,
  • Williams, Graham (1994); The Code War; Yore Publications,
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Wikipedia

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