Can you guess is the most popular team sport in the world? The answer is football. But you knew that already from the obvious title. Football is a sport played in almost every country in the world. It doesn’t have plenty rules or the need for much equipment. All you ever need is an open space and a ball.
What Is Football? Really
Football is a game played by two teams on a field that is shaped like a rectangle. Players on one team try to hit a ball through the other team’s goal post.
How Old Is Football?
People have played kicking games with balls since ancient times. The modern form of football came from Britain. It dates from the 1860s, when the rules were first written down.
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By the late 1800s, British sailors, traders, and soldiers had carried the game all over the world. Professional soccer leagues soon appeared in many countries. Today, almost every country in Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and South America has professional soccer leagues.
One country where football didn’t grow very fast was the United States. It wasn’t until the 1970s that many Americans began to follow it. After that, the sport took off. Today, millions around the world play football in schools, colleges, local and international leagues.
What Are the Rules of Engagement?
- Each football team consists 11 players.
- The players can use any part of their bodies to hit the ball, except their hands or arms. Players generally use their feet and heads as they kick, dribble, and pass the ball toward the goal.
- One player on each team guards the goal and tries to prevent the other team from scoring. This player is the goalkeeper, or goalie.
- The goalkeeper is the only player allowed to touch the ball with the hands while the ball is in play.
The other players are divided into defenders, midfielders, and forwards. Defenders try to stop the opposing team from reaching the goal with the ball. Forwards, also called strikers, do most of the scoring. Midfielders, or halfbacks, play defense but also try to score.
How Long Does A Game Last?
Typical football games are 90 minutes long. They have two 45-minute halves divided by a short break, or halftime. Besides halftime, the action stops only when a team scores, a foul is committed, or a player is injured. The official who makes sure the rules are followed is called the referee. The referee can add extra time at the end of each half to make up for time lost during delays.
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