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Are you looking for a team sport that you can start wherever you want, with whoever you want? Then football is just what you need!
If you are looking for a team sport that you can play anywhere in the world, football is the answer to your dreams - team spirit, simple rules, and understood by everyone. Football is played the world over, both at club and recreational level. Here we explain its origins and why it is so popular and give you the simple rules and describe the kit required to get started on the right foot. So you want to take up football? Let's explore together the benefits of playing football and the special qualities that make it so enjoyable!
Football first appeared in England in the middle of the 19th century.
The private schools at the time needed some team activities to occupy the boys after lessons. Despite the famous boy at Rugby School who preferred to play the ball with his hands, the other schools preferred their feet and their own set of rules. It was at Cambridge University that a move to draft a uniform set of rules was adopted thus creating 'the most simple of games', very close to what the world now uses'.
And it worked! The simple principles and the fact you can play it almost anywhere are the main reasons why football has become the most widely practised team game in the world. Maybe you have already created a playing field with your rucksacks to mark out the goals. Or perhaps you just get a ball and pass it around between friends, occasionally showing how clever you are with the ball. Well it's the same all over the world! The fact is simple - football is universal and, without doubt, it is by far the most popular game throughout Europe, Africa and South America.
Would you like to know more about the famous Laws of Football? They are very simple:
Football is a team game where you need to score more goals than your opponents. To play the ball, which is spherical, you may use your feet. Or your head. Or your legs. Or your chest. And you must never use your hands or your arms. Unless you are the goalkeeper. It's easy, isn't it?
As well as being played everywhere in the world and in all weathers, football has been adapted to be played indoors, with 5 players in each team: Indoor football is played on a hard surface, where the pitch is roughly the size of a handball court. Five-a-side football is played on a smaller, synthetic, surface but you can also use the side panels that delimit the playing surface to bounce and ricochet the ball.
If you want to play a match rather than play around with the ball, we'll give you the basic rules of the game.
A match is played with 11 people on each side, 10 of whom are in the field of play and play without using their hands, and the 11th player is the goalkeeper who is allowed also to use his hands as long as this is done in a defined area called the 'penalty area'.
To defend, you must attack the ball and not the opponent.
To win the game, you have two periods of 45 minutes in which to score more goals than the opposition. And to score, you need to get the ball into the opponent's goal.
Finally, the off-side rule is part of football's fascination: you cannot receive the ball from a team-mate if you are behind the last opposition field player at the time the ball is passed by your team-mate.
Football is more than just being a sport that is easy to take up. The benefits of the sport for you and your health are many and varied.
It's a sport where you run a lot, including many successive explosive sprints. So you exercise both your endurance and your heart.
It's also a ball game where you are carrying out very varied movements which stimulate coordination, balance and muscle tone.
Finally, as you can imagine, it's 'play' and enables you to open up and display all your talent. And football inculcates that essential concept - team spirit - because you learn that solidarity and team effort will triumph over individual brilliance.
And just to be sure that you don't have any medical condition that might prevent you from playing, don't forget to see your doctor!
Yes! Football is a sport that can be played at any age and without any pre-requisite capabilities. Football is so popular that you can always find the playing structure that suits your age and ability level.
Football teams require players with various skills for the different positions in the team. Thus, you can easily select the role for you according to your physique, your ball skills and your appreciation of the game situation.
So, if you like running and the idea of being in a team, your place in a football team is assured!
In addition to the ball to play with and to practise your skills, you need a shirt plus shorts that allow ample movement, knee-length socks and boots suited to the surface on which you will play: for example, if your boots have soles suited for indoor football and you are playing on grass, you will spend your time sliding and slipping.
And you will also need to protect your shins from your opponents' studs by using appropriate shin-guards. In addition to a different colour for shorts and shirt, the goalkeeper is advised to have a pair of suitable gloves to minimise the risk of conceding a stupid goal!
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