What Is Football?


Football is a sport in which two teams of eleven players compete to score more points than their opponent during an average game of 90 minutes. Each team has unlimited substitutions during the match. There are also three time-outs per half.

The game is played on a field, which may be made of natural grass or artificial turf. Players wear uniforms that identify their team. These include a jersey (or top) with a number on the back, and pants. Some players also wear extra clothing for cold weather.

In the United States, where the national game is called American football, a player’s uniform must have a helmet and shoulder pads. These pads are lightweight foam or hard plastic shells that can absorb the shock of collisions with other players.

Other equipment includes a mouthguard, cleats, and a shoe or boot that fits securely over the feet. The boots help prevent the player from slipping while playing, and provide grip on the ground.

Another piece of gear is a hat, which is worn under the uniform to protect the head from flying debris. The hats are also used to keep the player’s ears warm in the winter.

Fouls: The referee will stop play if a foul is committed on the field. A foul can be a fumble, a shove, or an illegal touch. If a foul is committed within the penalty area, the ball must be restarted with the goalkeeper at the point of the foul.

Incorrect Equipment: The referee can stop the game if a player does not have the proper equipment for the position they are in. For example, a forward who has not been wearing their cleats is not permitted to run with the ball.

Similarly, a defender who has not been wearing their shoulder pads is not permitted to handle the ball. This can result in a penalty.

Rules: The rules of football vary from country to country, but all games follow a set of rules governed by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA). In addition, many countries have their own leagues and cup competitions.


The game of football originated in Britain in the 19th century, when public school students adopted it as a way to remain physically fit. As the industrial revolution took hold and new cities were built, it became possible for teams to compete across the nation.

Schools like Eton, Harrow, Westminster, and Charterhouse began to adopt the sport. Each school developed its own set of rules and these were adapted over time with each new intake of students.

In England, some of the schools, such as Rugby and Marlborough, promoted kicking while others encouraged running with the ball. In 1863, the first formal meeting was held to draft rules for a national game.

At this point, a national governing body for the sport was formed; it is called the Football Association. This was the foundation for a number of major tournaments and football clubs, such as the English club Blackburn Rovers.