Football refers to a number of sports that involve, to varying degrees, kicking a ball with the foot to score a goal. The most popular of these sports worldwide is association football, more commonly known as just "football" or "soccer". Unqualified, the word football applies to whichever form of football is the most popular in the regional context in which the word appears, including association football, as well as American football, Australian rules football, Canadian football, Gaelic football, rugby league, rugby union, and other related games. These variations of football are known as football codes.
Various forms of football can be identified in history, often as popular peasant games. Contemporary codes of football can be traced back to the codification of these games at English public schools in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. The influence and power of the British Empire allowed these rules of football to spread to areas of British influence outside of the directly controlled Empire, though by the end of the nineteenth century, distinct regional codes were already developing: Gaelic Football, for example, deliberately incorporated the rules of local traditional football games in order to maintain their heritage. In 1888, The Football League was founded in England, becoming the first of many professional football competitions. During the twentieth century, several of the various kinds of football grew to become among the most popular team sports in the world.
A team sport includes any sport which involves players working together towards a shared objective.
A team sport is an activity in which a group of individuals, on the same team, work together to accomplish an ultimate goal which is usually to win. This can be done in a number of ways such as outscoring the opposing team. Team members set goals, make decisions, communicate, manage conflict, and solve problems in a supportive, trusting atmosphere in order to accomplish their objectives. This can be seen in sports such as hockey, football, American football, association football, basketball, volleyball, tennis, water polo, ultimate, lacrosse, rowing, rugby league, rugby union, cricket, handball and many others.
The term contact sports is used in competitive activities and medical terminology to describe sports in which players may directly or indirectly have physical contact with an opponent. Some sports, such as martial arts, are scored on impacting on an opponent, while others, including rugby football, require tackling of players for the game to be played fully. These sports are often known as full-contact, as the sport cannot be undertaken without contact. Other sports have contact, but such events are illegal under the rules of the game or are accidental and do not form part of the sport.
The contact in contact sports can also include impact via a piece of sporting equipment, such as being struck by a hockey stick or football. Non-contact sports are those where participants should have no possible means of impact, such as sprinting, swimming, darts or snooker, where players use separate lanes or take turns of play. Consideration should also be given to other sports such as Moto-cross and Bicycle Moto-cross (BMX) and Cycling which all involve riding/racing in packs of riders. This often results in crashing, and possible head injury. Even though these riders wear helmets, head injuries can be serious.
American football (known as football in the United States and gridiron in some other countries) is a sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field 120 yards long by 53.33 yards wide with goalposts at each end. The offense attempts to advance an oval ball (the football) down the field by running with or passing it. They must advance it at least ten yards in four downs to receive a new set of four downs and continue the drive; if not, they turn over the football to the opposing team. Points are scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown, kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal or by the defense tackling the ball carrier in the offense's end zone for a safety. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.
American football evolved in the United States, originating from the sport of rugby football. The first game of American football was played on November 6, 1869 between two college teams, Rutgers and Princeton, under rules resembling rugby and soccer. A set of rule changes drawn up from 1880 onward by Walter Camp, the "Father of American Football", established the snap, eleven-player teams and the concept of downs, and later rule changes legalized the forward pass, created the neutral zone and specified the size and shape of the football.
Association football, commonly known as soccer or football, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by using any part of the body besides the arms and hands to get the football into the opposing goal.
The goalkeepers are the only players allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play and then only in their penalty area. Outfield players mostly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may use their head or torso to strike the ball instead. The team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is tied at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time and/or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. The Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA; French: Fédération Internationale de Football Association) which organises a World Cup every four years.
Australian rules football, officially known as Australian football, also called football, footy or Aussie rules (and in some regions marketed as AFL after the Australian Football League, the preeminent and fully professional Australian football league in the country), is a sport played between two teams of eighteen players on the field of either an Australian football ground, a modified cricket field, or a similarly sized sports venue.
The main way to score points is by kicking the ball between the two tall goal posts. The team with the higher total score at the end of the match wins unless either a draw is declared or a tie-break is used.
Indoor soccer or Indoor football or arena soccer, or six-a-side football in the United Kingdom, is a game derived from association football adapted for play in an indoor arena such as a turf-covered ice hockey arena or skating rink. The term "indoor soccer" is so well known as a description of the different style of the game that it is even used to describe similar fields which are built outdoors.
Indoor soccer is one of several distinct variants of the game of association football designed for play in indoor arenas. Indoor soccer is most popular in the United States, Canada and Mexico, with several amateur, collegiate and professional leagues functioning. It is also played in Brazil, where it is called showbol. Other variants of indoor football, such as futsal and five-a-side football, are more popular outside North America. These variants have different rules and governing bodies from those of indoor soccer.
Field hockey, referred to in most countries simply as hockey, is a team sport of the hockey family which is played between two teams of eleven players with hockey sticks and a hard, solid plastic ball. At the turn of the 21st century, the game is played globally, with particular popularity throughout Europe, Asia, Oceania, and South America – in addition to being the national sport of both India and Pakistan. The term "field hockey" is used primarily in Canada, the United States, and other regions of the world where the sport of ice hockey is more popular.
During play, goal keepers are the only players who are allowed to touch the ball with any part of their body (the player's hand is considered 'part of the stick'), with this only applying within the shooting circle (also known as the D, or shooting arc, or just the circle), while field players play the ball with the flat side of their stick. The team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is tied at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time and/or a penalty shootout, depending on the competition's format. Usually it just counts as a tied game.