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In every country except the United States, soccer is referred to as football. The history of soccer goes back some 2,000 years ago, evidenced by records of different types of soccer in ancient Greece and Rome. But it was in England during the Middle Ages that football began to take the shape recognized as soccer (or football) today.
Originally considered a vulgar, rowdy pastime, constant efforts were made by law-abiding mayors, sheriffs, and clerics to suppress the game. It was thought that the game kept men from their Christian duties and from “proper” occupation, and it wasted valuable time that might otherwise have been profitably spent in the practice of archery and other military skills. Despite these efforts to stamp it out, however, the people went on playing.
What came to be know as mob football, soccer was little more than a violent street battle in early England. The field was the length of the town, the number of players might be as many as 500, the conflict continued for an entire day, and vast numbers of windows and legs were broken. There were even some deaths. It was upon this turmoil that some order was finally imposed, and from that order the game of soccer emerged.
Formal soccer rules were first adopted by the English Football Association. As is the case with the evolution of all sports, with each passing development, rules were amended and changed to increase safety and allow for fair play. Field dimensions, starting and playing positions, goal parameters, and other specifics were introduced along the way.
Soccer is much more popular in Europe and South America than in the United States. In fact, soccer is the focus of the largest sporting event in the world. The World Cup, the international professional soccer championship held every four years, draws crowds in the millions.Today soccer is gaining popularity in the United States. The game is unique among other U.S. sports because players (except the goalkeeper) use only the feet, chest, and head, not the hands. With an emphasis on kicking instead of catching, soccer skills remain quite distinct from the majority of other team sports played around the world.
Field and Equipment
- Objective is to score as may points as possible but putting the ball into the opponents goal.
- Eleven players per team.
- A goal is scored when the ball completely crosses the goal line and is worth one point.
- The player who begins the game by kicking off may not touch the ball again until another player has.
- Players must use their feet, head, or chests to play the ball, with the exception of the goalkeeper and of making a throw-in.
- Players are not allowed to trip, slide tackle, hold, or push another player in order to gain control the ball.
Ball Control and Dribbling
- Use all parts of foot to control the ball
- Keep ball close to feet to protect from opponents
- Keep head up to observe the field.
- Cushion control – taking the ‘sting’ out of the ball by pulling back the controlling surface on impact. This has the effect of ‘cushioning’ or absorbing the pace of the ball so that it drops at the feet.
- Wedge control – by making the controlling surface, say the sole or outside of the boot, more rigid, the ball is ‘wedged’ between it and the ground. This is used when a player wants to force the ball downwards or into space so they can move onto it.
Trapping and Collecting
- Using various parts of the body to bring the ball under control. Use Chest, Thigh, or Instep for areal balls and sole, inside or outside of foot for ground balls .
- Chest: use arms to position body to receive the ball. Stick chest out, then cushion against the force of the ball to drop it at your feet.
- Thigh: line up with the trajectory of the ball and raise leg parallel to the ground with knee bent. Give way to the force of the ball.
- Foot (instep):lock ankle with toe up, use the instep to cushion and control the ball.
- Ball may be passed with the inside, outside, or instep of the foot.
- Ball should be passed slightly in front of target in order to lead the player.
- Plant foot should land to the side of the ball prior to the kick.
- use the back of your foot to pass the ball backwards to a teammate.
Bending (Banana Shot)
- A shot or pass that curves.
- Kick the ball by grazing it low on one side (the far side). When aiming to the right of the target, graze the bottom-right of the soccer ball. When aiming to the left of the target, graze the bottom-left of the ball.
- Lift the ball into the air and make a slight curve in the direction you want it to go.
- Passing the ball from the sideline across the field to assist in a goal.
- Ball may be played as a header or volley
Give and Go (Wall Pass)
- using a teammate to pass the ball off of in a 2 vs 1 situation.
- similar to passing the ball at an angle off of a wall to get around a defensive player.
- using the momentum of a pass to deflect the ball in another direction.
- passing the ball through two defensive players
- The goalkeeper may use any part of body to stop the ball from passing the goal line.
- Keeper may only pickup the ball in the goal area.
- Keeper may kick, punt, or throw the ball to put the ball back in play.
- The three main throws a goalkeeper uses are overhead, sidearm, and underhand or bowling throws.
- Goalie Arch is an invisible line the goalkeeper uses to correctly position their body for optimal coverage of the goal.
- Position the body between the middle of the goal and the position of the ball. Closer to the goal line in the corners and in front of the goal line a few yards in the middle of the goal.
- Underhand: release the ball close to the ground using an underhand motion, rolling it smoothly to teammate. Short range pass.
- Side Arm: using dominant hand, while body twisted backwards, sling the ball forward keeping arm parallel to the ground.
- Two hand overhead: same throw as the throw in.
- Hold the ball with two hands.
- Take a three step approach.
- Drop the ball in time with kicking foot coming forward.
- Make contact with the ball in front of body with the instep of the dominate foot.
Forward or Strikers
· Play mainly on the offensive end of the field
· Assist and shoot at the goal
· Transition players who overlap other players on the field
· Play offense and defense.
· Set up plays and begin scoring opportunities
Backs or Full Backs
· Play mainly on the defensive end of the field
· Help the Goalkeeper defend the goal.
· Get the ball to the Midfielders to move down field.
· The last line of defense for the team.
· Must use body to stop or deflect the ball at all cost.
· Leads the team verbally by giving directions to teammates.
· The only player who can see the entire field the whole time.
Did you see that?!
30 most creative goals in Football (soccer)