Advancing the ball with kicks, running with it, passing to other team mates, trying to forward it to the opponent’s end of the field, shooting in between the goal posts and scoring a point, this is football. The winning team is the one that has scored more number of points (goals) when a specified length of time has elapsed.
The origin of the game ‘Football’ predates the recorded history. Documented evidence, a manual of Chinese military during the Han Dynasty in about 2nd century BC, describes an organized activity resembling football. It was known as ‘Cuju’ (Tsu Chu), which involved kicking a leather ball through a hole in a piece of silk cloth strung between two 30 foot poles.
The game was re-invented, after over a thousand years by the English. But the name ‘Football’ was used by number of different related team sports, such as Rugby football, American football, Australian rules football, Gelic football and Canadian football. Association football goes by the name ‘Soccer.’ However, many believe that Walter Camp adapted rugby into the sport of football. He contributed many changes from Rugby and Soccer to American football. Few of them are given below:
- One side retained undisputed possession of the ball, until that side gives up the ball as a result of its own violations.
- The line of scrimmage.
- 11 on a team instead of 15.
- Created the quarter-back and center positions.
- Forward pass.
- Standardized the scoring system, numerical scoring.
- Created the safety, interference, penalties, and the neutral zone.
- Tackling as low as the knee was permitted - 1888.
- A touchdown increased in value to six points and field goals went down to three points - 1912.
- Today, the laws of football are determined by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) that was formed in 1886. Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the international organising body for football adhere to the rules laid down by the IFAB and it organises the most prestigious international football competition, FIFA World Cup, most widely-viewed sporting event in the world.