Association football, also commonly called just soccer or football, is a competitive team game played between two competing teams of eleven players each. It’s the most popular sport in the world, with over 250 million people playing it in more than 200 countries and dependencies. The game is predominantly played behind closed doors, with the exception of matches involving teams that have qualified for the World Cup, where public stadiums are used. However, in the United States, Major League Soccer, the most prominent soccer league in America, has games that are open to the public.
To call association football the most popular sport in the world is an understatement. There are several reasons why this sport has become so popular throughout its history. The first reason is the sheer quantity of action that goes on in a typical game. A typical game of Association football involves at least three to four hours of action, much more than any other sport. The length of time of play in Association football varies between games, but typically players are on their feet the entire time.
The second reason why football is so popular is that the rules of the game make it exciting and unique. When played before the introduction of professional rules in England in the twentieth century, football was a very simple game. Two teams entered into a common field with a boundary wall, usually no more than six feet apart. The object of the game was to kick the football into the goal, using feet. If a player accidentally kicked the ball into his own goal, a point would be awarded to his team. The rules of the game kept the play exciting, allowing for a great deal of different kinds of plays.
During the first recorded games of Association football, the ball was weighted. This was done in order to prevent the players from sprinting too far while attempting to kick the ball. This method of weighing the ball helped to prevent players from taking off speed. It also helped to prevent them from being injured by the heavy ball. The earliest record of a weighted ball comes from a match played between two South African sides in the year nineteen eighty-one.
As the sport of football spread throughout Europe, different names were given to the game. In Europe, the term football became Football (English) or Association (Spanish) while in North America the term football became Soccer (English) or American football. Many different variations of the game have developed since its early days in Europe. Today the word football has a completely different meaning depending on where you live. For example, soccer is a sport that is played in many different countries around the world while football is a game that is widely played in the United States.
The history of the game can be traced back to the nineteenth century, when it became known as Association football of the United States. After World War II, professional teams around the world moved to form international leagues. A tournament was organized by FIFA, the Federation of International Football Associations, in which nations from all over the world would compete. Currently there are twenty different codes for football; the various codes are based on the degree of play and the rules of the game.