A Football History: from its origin to now

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There is no clear documentation stating the date and place of origination of today’s most popular sport – world football. However, most historians agree that some type of a ball game has been played for at least over 3000 years.

 

The origins of the game can be seen in games played in China, Japan, Egypt, Greece before our modern game developed in England.

Here is a brief outline of some of the events that have shaped the game of soccer throughout history.

A Football Timeline

5000-300 B.C. There is evidence in China that military forces around 2nd and 3rd century BC (Han Dynasty) played a game, originally named “Tsu Chu”, that involved kicking a leather ball stuffed with fur into a small hole. Like Soccer, no hands were permitted during the play of the game.
2500 B.C There was possibly a version of a type of ball game played by young women in Egypt during the age of Baqet III, as images of this sport were depicted on his tomb, though there is not much known of this sport except that it was played with a ball.
1000 B.C. The Japanese version of ‘soccer’ was called Kemari, a game much like modern hacky sack, played with two to twelve players, and played a larger ball stuffed with sawdust. There was also a field designated by four trees (cherry, maple, pine and willow).
B.C. In ancient Greece, they played a game called Episkyros, in which two equal numbered teams would try to throw the ball over the heads of the other team. There was a white line between the teams and another white line behind each team. Teams would change the ball often until one of the team was forced behind the line at their end.
50 B.C. China’s Tsu Chu players and Japan’s Kemari players were the first to have an “International” game of their versions of soccer, believed to have occurred roughly 50 B.C.. There is a definite date of such a game occurring in 611 A.D.
600 – 1600 A.D. In Mexico & Central America the rubber ball was created, and used in a game on a recessed court 40-50 feet long shaped like a capital “I”. In the middle of each wall, was a mounted stone or wooden ring and the object was to project the hard rubber ball through the ring.
700s The first Football games played in Britain was between the locals of east of England, starting after a ‘legendary’ game that involved kicking around the severed head of a Danish prince that they had defeated in a war. These games were violent, where injury and death were not uncommon
1331 Despite the violence of these celebratory games, they were still popular. This led King Edward III of England to pass laws in 1331 to stop the game
1424 King James I of Scotland also passed a law banning the game
1500 In Italy they played a game called “calcio” with teams of 27+ people. The game involved kicking, carrying or passing a ball across a goal line. In 1580, Giovanni Bardi published a set of rules of the game of calcio.
1572 Queen Elizabeth I of England, enacted laws that could sentence a football player to jail for a week followed by penance in a church.
1600 In Alaska and Canada the native Eskimos played a game called aqsaqtuk on ice, using balls stuffed with grass, caribou hair, and moss. One legend tells of two villages playing against each other with goals 10 miles apart.
1605 Football became legal again in England
1620 In North America, native American Indians in the original Jamestown settlement played a game called pasuckuakohowog, meaning “they gather to play ball with the foot.” It was a rough game, played the beach, the field a half-mile wide with goals 1 mile apart, with as many as 1000 players at a time.
1815 Eton College of England established a set of rules for the games.
1820 In the USA, football was played among the Northeastern universities and colleges of Harvard, Princeton, Amherst and Brown.
1848 The rules were further standardized and a new version was adopted by all the schools, college and universities, known as the Cambridge Rules.
1862 The first soccer club formed anywhere outside of England was the Oneida Football Club, Boston USA.
1863 October 26 of 1863, the Football Association was formed when eleven London schools and clubs came together at the Freemason’s Tavern to establish a single set of rules to administer any football match that were to be played among them. On December 8 1863, Association Football and Rugby Football finally split into two different organizations. Later in the year, the first ever soccer match was played on Barnes common at Mortlake, London on 19th December 1863 between Barnes Football Club and Richmond Football Club. The game ended in a 0-0 draw.
1869 The Football Association rules were further amended to exclude any handling of the ball.
1872 The first official international football match was played, between the national teams of Scotland and England, played in Glasgow Scotland. The game was played on  30 November 1872, and finished with a 0-0 draw.
1883 The four British associations agreed on a uniform code and formed the International Football Association Board.
1885 The first international match played by teams outside of Great Britain was between USA and Canada, played in Newark and ended with Canada winning 1-0.
1888 Introduction of the penalty kick.
1900 Soccer played at the Olympic Games for the first time
1904 Establishment of FIFA by delegates from France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland at a meeting in Paris on the 21st of May.
1930 In 1930, The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) held soccer’s first World Cup tournament in Montevideo, Uruguay, with 13 teams.
1932 Soccer was taken off the program for the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, due to a controversy between FIFA and the IOC over the definition of amateur and the reluctance of many strong soccer countries to travel to the US because of the expense involved.
1991 The inaugural Women’s World Cup in 1991 in China was won by the United States
1996 The American women’s team won the first-ever women’s soccer event at the Olympics.

 

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Old Comments

Commenting is closed on this page, though you can read some previous comments below which may answer some of your questions.

  • Nichalas (2018)
    England gave soccer it’s name.
  • Colby (2013)
    so who invented soccer?
  • JJEshelman colby (2013)
    Well like it says we don’t know but you could say Britain did
  • Cindy JJEshelman (2014)
    well i think china did but it just had a different name for it and the rules just changed a bit
  • Promise Udoh colby (2017)
    it was china. Greece, Rome, and Central America claimed to have invented soccer. While England transitioned soccer into what it is today.
  • Don colby (2016)
    Tsu chu, is what the Chinese called it. They are believed to have been the first to play the game we now call soccer/football. But many others lay claim to be the first as well. Including Japan and Greece. The first legendary football game played in England was done so using the severed head of a Danish Prince!
  • Kristen (2013)
    this was a really great help to me, whoever made this, thanks alot 😉
  • Gisselle Barcenas (2013)
    i need help i have no clue who changed the soccer rules but thanx to who ever wrote this i know found the answer:)
  • Himomma (2013)
    very helpful but who invented soccer
  • Connor himomma (2016)
    it was china that first invented soccer or in other countries, futball. england then took over
  • Nyan Cat (2014)
    Thanks A lot!!!!!!! Im a 12 year old who was stuck with having to do a timeline about soccer history
  • Grace (2013)
    i have been looking EVERYWHERE on the internet and i never found anything as good as this was help wise! thanks a ton!
  • Ezra (2014)
    I feel bad for the person who said they were stuck with writing about this because they don’t get to write about something they love or feel inspired by. I personally I choose to write about soccer because I enjoy this sport and I have to write a essay (in which I am vary excited to write) about it then present it to a group of people and although there are some interesting facts on this website none of then helped me in the slightest bit (besides my own enjoy ment) I would probably suggest more recent facts and a bigger description of what happens
  • Me Ezra (2017)
    so are you saying that the information stated in the timeline is not valid?? I need dates…
  • Freckles (2013)
    This has helped me alot!! Thanks! But who invented soccer?
  • Mickey (2013)
    This has helped me HEAPS thx who ever created this thx heaps
  • Michael (2020)
    thx you really saved me from getting a D in my assignment
  • I Hate soccer (2020)
    soccer sucks. I HATE it.
  • Lionel Messi (2020)
    Im positive China created it because they had the first international game
  • BEKFEST (2019)
    What year was soccer made up?
  • Micah puma (2018)
    Britain did. If they “molded” soccer into what it us, doesnt that mean they made it? Its like tag, chinese invented tag, but britain made the better version, freeze tag. I wish somebody would do this same thing about dodgeball, i have to write an essay on what inventions changed the world.
  • Micah puma (2018)
    Britain did. If they “molded” the game chinese played, doesnt that mean they made it? Its like whoever invented freeze tag, the chinese invented tag, but britain made the better version, freeze tag.
  • Robert (2018)
    who is the author? i need to know asap, because im doing a school paper
  • Rob Admin robert (2018)
    check the link at the base of the page: author info https://www.topendsports.co…. The info needed to cite this page is also listed below.
  • Toodles Boatski (2018)
    When, how and why did Offside come into existence?
  • Anthony (2017)
    Which country was the first to play soccer?
  • Grayson Hensley (2016)
    WHO REALLY INVENTED SOCCER!!!
  • TheLegend (2016)
    Britain invented soccer.
  • Matthew (2016)
    well china did invent soccer in 1860’s
  • Marco Valdez (2015)
    thanks a lot this help with my soccer project
  • Ezra (2014)
    I feel bad for the person who said they were stuck with writing about this because they don’t get to write about something they love or feel I stopped by. I personally I choose to write about soccer because I enjoy this sport and I have to write a essay (in which I am vary excited to write) about it then present it to a group of people and although there are some interesting facts on this website none of then helped me in the slightest bit (besides my own enjoy ment) I would probably suggest more recent facts and a bigger description of what happened
  • Chum chum (2014)
    no England started but Britain continued it more then England.
  • Up in the A.M chum chum (2017)
    Umm… isn’t England the same as Britain? I mean, same country?
  • Cassie valmond (2014)
    Who invented football in 2500 bc
  • Spike it (2014)
    Where did the word “soccer”come from. Why not call it football like they do in the rest of the world
  • Rob Admin Spike it (2014)
    The term soccer comes from the proper name for the sport, AsSOCiation football.
  • Yeet Spike it (2020)
    There is Football and soccer. soccer is not Football.
  • Ann C (2014)
    Has a goalie ever thrown or kicked the ball the length of the field and scored?
  • Rob Admin Ann C (2014)
    It has been done before, but I don’t think it has ever happened at the World Cup
  • ACM Ann C (2017)
    I have and I’m just a kid so I imagine pro goalies have done it too.
  • Roger Ann C (2015)
    Yes, Pat Jennings scored for Tottenham at Old Trafford in the sixties
  • Makenna (2015)
    this is terrible, i want who invented soccer without all of this other stuff poping up
  • Idiot makenna (2018)
    No one knows who invented soccer! Idiot
  • Skully (2014)
    wow 5000-300 bc that is a long time ago
  • Someone skully (2017)
    of course it was…
  • Isaiah skully (2016)
    Hello! This site is really helpful do you know what was the first soccer team ever created and who invented soccer?

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