Association football, also known as just football or soccer, is an organized team sport typically played between two groups of 11 players each. It is played professionally by more than 250 million people in more than 200 nations and dependencies, making it by far the most popular game in the world. The game is played in a rectangular field with goals positioned along the corners of the pitch. The match is longer than regulation football, but not longer than an average soccer game.
The rules of association football are very simple. Each side must contain eleven players including two goalkeepers. The football lines are laid out in such a way that the maximum number of meters between the two teams is fifteen meters, inclusive of the foul line. This length of play is called the playing time, or half time. When time runs out during a soccer game, a winner is declared, and the game is considered over.
Professional football clubs play professionally on an international level and have teams in several countries. Many times, local football clubs are affiliated with professional teams, and share facilities and training grounds with them. These local football clubs are known as amateur or second division clubs. They compete against other amateur or second division teams for the same places in professional football clubs’ tournaments and play in the leagues.
Football has been a sport that has been played for a very long time, and there is evidence of football starting during the Roman Empire. Records show that the Romans played a game similar to modern-day kicking, wrestling, and blocking, known as ball games. Records also show that football started off as a game much like fencing and called lacrosse.
As the popularity of soccer spread throughout Europe, football was modified and became known as Association football or British soccer. Association football was played between teams of varying skill, with regulation size limits and different method of play. Two international soccer tournaments, the World Cup and the European Championships, have led to the popularity of Association football.
In the late 19th century, a game known as “volleyball” became very popular all around the world. This game was similar to American football in that it used a ball, but it also had rules for the players and different types of equipment. The early balls used in volleyball were made from clay, rubber, or metal, and the later balls were specially made by plastic, glass, or metal. As time passed, football became a well-liked sport, and before the Second World War, the English Premier League became the first ever soccer league in the world.