World Cup


The Origin & Evolution of Soccer in England

19th century English soccer was much more disorganized, spontaneous, and violent than it is today. Soccer began in England mainly as a contest between villages and was more often a matter of kicking your opponent rather than the ball.

The first rules for soccer in England were established in 1863, but the size and weight of the ball were not decided upon until nine years later. Before 1872 these things were usually agreed on by the participating teams. Games didn't have an established time either until 1866 when London and Sheffield designated a duration of 90 minutes for playing time.

Fun Facts About English Soccer/Soccer Overall

  • Towards the end of the 17th century, in the Scottish town of Inversek and certain parts of England, it was very popular for games to be played between married men and bachelors. Similar games were also played between married and unmarried women and were nearly always won by the married women.
  • There are 32 panels on a traditional soccer ball; one for every country in Europe.
  • A soccer field can also be referred to as a pitch because every regulation playing field is pitched (or sloped) five degrees upward from goal to goal. The participating teams switch sides after each half so each time has to play slightly uphill for half of the match.
  • Soccer balls are slightly oval shaped but the checkered patterning creates the illusion of a perfect sphere.
  • Queen Elizabeth II was an amazing athlete and would frequently dress in disguise to participate in pickup soccer matches near Buckingham Palace throughout her teenage years.

Soccer and its Beginnings

Soccer was played in places dating so far back as Egypt, Ancient China, and Rome.

  • Egyptians played a game that resembled soccer with linen balls to celebrate feasts of fertility.
  • In Ancient China a game was played called cuju, which roughly translates to "kick the ball with foot". It was played with a feather-stuffed leather ball that was kicked around on a rectangular field. It became so popular that military leaders would use it to keep soldiers in shape. Royal courts eventually formed professional cuju teams and would hold matches.
  • Soccer in Ancient Rome consisted of 54 players (27 on each team) and the only objective was to get the ball into the goal of the other team. There were no rules, tactics, or strategies. It was popular enough to be included in the early Olympics, but also violent enough that there is one recorded incident of unintentional death by soccer.
  • During the Middle Ages, it was the people of England who kept soccer alive. In the middle of the 14th century the most popular form of soccer was called mob football and allowed an unlimited amount of players on the field. In mob football, players could do anything they wanted as long as these acts did not lead to manslaughter and would sometimes turn entire towns into giant pitches.
  • In England soccer was banned in schools for its chaotic nature, so in the 19th century club soccer was created and rules were laid out to ensure fair and honest play.

Works Cited

"20 Amazing Soccer Facts Most American Sports Fans Don't Know - SportsPickle." Medium. 2015. Web. 17 Mar. 2016. <>.

"England Soccer Facts." LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 2013. Web. 17 Mar. 2016. <>.

"History of Football - Britain, the Home of Football -" Web. 17 Mar. 2016. <>.

"Did You Know Soccer Was Actually Invented in China?" DramaFever RSS. Web. 17 Mar. 2016. <>.

"Soccer in Ancient Times (and Art)." Hyperallergic RSS. 2014. Web. 17 Mar. 2016. <>.