History of Football

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History of Football


The origins of modern football originated in Britain, but there is a great deal of evidence that points to this game as having a much older history.


This is a short history on some of the main known varieties of football, for instance it misses out the Native Americans who had their own variety mostly because of a lack of documentation on its origins.


Chinese Football History

To many, this is the oldest version of football to exist. However, there is quite a lot of controversy of whether or not this is the oldest, or Japan's version is the elder. The likelihood is that as this version was much more organised it would of evolved from an older form of the game such as the Japanese version. The Chinese version of the game, originally named "Tsu Chu", involved players on a field that had to hit a leather ball stuffed with fur into a small hole. Like Football, no hands were permitted during the play of the game, and it was considered an honour to be a member of a team.


The Emperor of the Han Dynasty, when the game was developed, was an avid player and fan, and spread the popularity of this game all over China during his reign. This roughly dates back to 300 B.C., although there is controversy on the subject of dating, which could result in the origins of the game being as far back as 5000 B.C. Regardless, this version of Football is extremely old. Despite that, there is still a version of Tsu Chu played today.


Japanese Football History

Kemari, the Japanese version of "Football", is perhaps one of the most different forms of the sport, in comparison to modern football. Kemari was a game of "keep it up", much like modern hacky sacks, although used with a larger ball that was stuffed with saw dust. This version involves a "pitch", or the field, designated by the selection of four trees, the cherry, maple, pine and willow. Many great houses in Japan would grow trees to have a permanent pitch, or field, established.


Kemari was normally played with two to twelve players. Established in roughly 1004 B.C., it vies for position of the oldest game with China's Tsu Chu. In fact, China's Tsu Chu players and Japan's Kemari players were the first to have an "International" game of their versions of Football, which is dated to have occurred in roughly 50 B.C., although a definite date of 611 A.D. is known. Regardless, this game stands with China as a sister sport to Football, while it never affected the modern version of the game.


Greek/Roman Football History

Perhaps the closest relative to modern football are the games that were formed by the Greeks during the prime of their culture. They had numerous varieties of football style games, some of which required hands, some of which forbade hands. The Greeks used it as a way to settle disputes.

 

In the end, after the Roman conquering of Greece, the game Harpastum is what modern football would be based from. This game, probably a modified version of the Greek's "Harpaston", which translates roughly to handball. While grossly misnamed, this game is what is considered to be one of the precursors to modern football.


British Football History

In Britain during the 8th century, football was created, not as a recreational sport, but as a war game. One of the stories of the original roots of the sport comes from when a Danish Prince was beheaded, and his head was used as a ball and was kicked around. Ever since this 'legendary' tale, villages and other communities would play a game where they would have to kick a ball to a specific goal.

It was a violent game, where injury and death were not uncommon, but it was popular nevertheless. In fact, it was so violent, that in 1331, King Edward III passed laws to try to stop the playing of the game. It did not work, however, and the sport carried on.


There are even stories of football games that involved hundreds upon hundreds of players. In these games, there were many deaths, some resulting in the hundreds. It wasn't until 1815 when Eton College set up a series of rules for the game that it became less violent and more of a true sport.At this time, other colleges and universities took up the banner and began to play under similar rules.

Later, the rules were evaluated and judged, and the Cambridge rules were created as a result in 1848. In the Cambridge rules, shin-kicking, carrying the ball and tripping were all forbidden. Rugby rules allowed these aspects, and the two varieties of football, or football, split to form their own followings.


On 26 October 1863, London schools and sports club sent representatives to the Freemason's Tavern, where the Football Association was formed. Rugby supporters left this association to form the Rugby Association. This is where the birth of modern football began. In 1969, the Football Association finalized the modern game of football by forbidding the use of hands in the game.


The term "Soccer" was coined when someone was asked if he was a Rugger, which is a Rugby player. The -er signified that the person participated in a particular sport. The individual, Charles Wreford Brown, replied with "Soccer!", taking the phrase from Association, SOC, and adding the -er. The term stuck. While British individuals still call the game Football, Americans and other countries call it Soccer, especially if they have heavy support in American Football present.

Ever since the foundation of the Association, Football has risen in popularity, becoming one the best loved games in the known history of the Earth. Now, hundreds of thousands play the sport, although it lacks the initial violence present at its creation.

 

 

 

 

 

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