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Soccer is a popular sport played all over the world. Even though it has only
been popular in North America for the past 30 years, soccer has been a long time
favorite most everywhere else. It is the national sport of most European and

Latin-American countries, and of many other nations. Millions of people in more
than 140 countries play soccer. The sport dates back to the Egyptians, who
played games involving the kicking of a ball. Now, the sport has grown to a
global pastime, including men’s and women’s teams, and the World Cup (which
is played every four years). History and Origins Games similar to soccer were
played in China as early as 400 BC. In about 200 AD the Romans played a game in
which two teams tried to score by advancing a ball across a line on the field.

The Romans passed the ball to one another but they never kicked it. London
children in about 1100 played a form of soccer in the streets. During the 1800's
the people of England played a game similar to soccer. Many rules changed and
each person interpreted the rules differently. The modern version came about in
the early nineteenth century, in England. It started as a game involving kicking
and handing, but later this branched off into two separate sports: rugby and
football (which is what the English call soccer). In 1848 a group of school
representatives met at Trinity College in Cambridge and drew up the first of
soccer rules. In 1863 English soccer clubs founded the Football Association. By
the late 1800's soccer began to spread to the rest of the world. The Canadian

Soccer Association was established in 1912 while the United States Soccer

Federation was set up in 1913. The first World Cup Championship was in

Montevideo, Uruguay. Since then it has been played every four years except
during WWII. The North American Soccer League (NASL) was formed in 1968 and the
sport began to gain popularity in the 1970’s. Modern Game and Rules The modern
game of soccer has a simple goal: kick or head the ball in to the goal of your
opponent’s team. Basically, there is also one simple rule: No one except the
goalkeeper may use they’re hands to play the ball. Soccer is a simplistic
sport. Eleven members of each team defend their side of the field to prevent the
ball from being forced into their goal, which results in a point scored by the
team kicking the ball. There are only three officials involved during play: The
referee, and two linesmen. The equipment used in soccer is also very simple. In
addition to the field itself, all that is needed for a game is two goals (eight
feet high and eight yards apart) and a ball. Each player wears hard plastic or
padded shin guard, covered by long socks, for protection during play. Cleats are
also worn for traction on the field. A goalie may also wear a special padded
shirt, and gloves to protect his or her hands. A standard field, as regulated by
the Federation International de Football Association (or FIFA), has a length
between 100 and 130 yards, and a width of between 50 and 100 yards. The rules of
play for soccer have deliberately been kept simple (see rules as appendix). The
referee makes most of the decisions, and attempts to encourage fair play. A
soccer game begins with a kickoff in the center of the field. A coin is flipped
to decide which team will kickoff. The other team kicks off at the start of the
second half when the teams switch sides or nets. After a team scores the other
team gets to kickoff to begin again. The kickoff takes place in the middle of
the field. When the ball is kicked it must travel the circumference of the ball
and touch another player before the kicker can touch the ball again. After the
ball is in play it remains in play unless it crosses a goal line or a touchline.

All players attempt to stop the ball from coming in their zone while at the same
time trying to score a goal. A player may kick the ball into the net with any
part of the body except the hands and arms. If the ball goes out of bounds the
play is restarted with a corner kick, a goal kick, or a throw-in. The referee
decides what type to use. If the ball crosses

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