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The History of Soccer

Mo Salah, Mo Salah , Mo Salah…Creative Commons License Patrick Strandberg via Compfight

Imagine having to kick a pig liver all over a field, and it hardly ever goes where you want it to. Well, that is how people in the ancient times had to play soccer.  This team sport was created on the streets and has evolved over time. The word soccer seems to have come from Britain where they termed the official name of the game “association football”.  The term was shortened to soccer and became popular in the United States to keep it separate from American football.

Who created soccer

Some records trace all the way back 2,000 years ago to ancient China. Greece, Rome, and some parts of Central America all say they have started the sport too.  There have been many different stories of how a sport using your feet and a ball was created. It was actually England who created soccer on the streets and transitioned it to the sport we know today. The game we know today as soccer, the British used to and still do call it “Football.”  Football at one point became so violent that it was banned by the king of England for nearly 300 years.

The history of the soccer ball

The first soccer ball was in ancient times and that soccer ball was a pig’s liver. That liver never went where you wanted it to. The second ball was made out of vulcanized rubber. The next couple of balls over the years have changed from heavy leather to light leather. Those balls back then had to be checked by FIFA for the correct size and weight. They also had to be checked by FIFA so that the balls don’t fall apart in the middle of a game.  So the ball went from animal parts to the layered spherical ball it is today. Many changes happened as people got smarter and the sport gained popularity.

How the rules have changed from 1815 to 2017

In 1815, soccer began to be played in colleges around the world.  Some began using the Cambridge rules and some began with rugby rules. In 1863, the Cambridge rules were chosen as the official rules.  In 1869 goal kicks were first introduced into the game. Then goalies could only waste up to 30 seconds on 1 goal kick. In 1872 the first corner kicks were taken. Five years later the Sheffield rules adopted the rule. In 1875 crossbars were finally added to the goals. In 1878 whistles were first used to control the game. In 1891 penalties were first taken. They were originally called the kick of death. In 1891 the first center referee was entered into the game. In 1902 penalty spots were first put on the field. In 1904 FIFA was first established. In 1912 goalie boxes were made so they could only use their hands in the box not where ever they would like. In 1920 the rule was made that players could not be offsides on a throw-in. In 1925 the offsides rule changed from a three-player rule to a 2 player rule. In 1938 the shape of the 18-yard box was finalized. In 1990 FIFA changed the offside rule to allow the offensive player to be onside even if he was with the second to last defender. In 1992 the last major change to soccer was made, it was that if a defender kicks the ball back to his or her goalie the goalie can’t pick it up. In 1998 referees were instructed to view violent tackles as a red card offense. In 2009 assistant referees started helping the main referee. In 2013 goal-line technology was first launched. In 2017 major league soccer first started using the goal-line technology to tell if its a goal or not.

When did soccer become an Olympic sport?

The first year soccer was in the Olympics was in 1900. Soccer has been part of the summer Olympics since except in 1896 and 1932.  But at first, only a men’s competition was included in the Olympics not the woman. 96 years later a woman’s soccer event was finally included in the Olympics.  Europe dominated this Olympic sport for nearly a century when finally African and South American teams gave them tough competition.  Soccer in the Olympics is usually not as popular as World Cup soccer. Rules were added to only allow a certain number of World Cup soccer athletes into the Olympics.  Either competition brings in millions of fans.

Soccer is the most famous sport in the world. This is proven by the millions of people who play, watch and influence the sport.  Soccer players who are celebrities around the world think so too because one, they get paid a lot per year and two, they just love the sport in their heart which allows them to be the world’s greatest soccer players.  It is played in just about every county in the world. Those that are not lucky enough to play it as a career still enjoy watching it just as much. It has turned into a sport that many kids love to play and nearly everyone loves to watch.                                                                                           

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