The Origin of Soccer

38Although it may be impossible to accurately state when and where the game of soccer originated, history has shown us glimpses of a game similar to our present day version being played for over 3000 years.

Around the 2nd or 3rd Century BC, it was documented that the Chinese military during the Han Dynasty played a game involving kicking a ball into a small net.

A game similar to soccer was played by the ancient Greeks and Romans but their game could include up to 27 players on a side compared to the modern day game of 11 players to a side.

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Infractions And Penalties In Soccer

37In the game of soccer, there are a number of player infractions that will result in the referee halting game play, and possibly even implementing disciplinary measures according to regulations set by FIFA, which is the primary governing of the sport all over the world. Here, we take a look at the different soccer penalties and the infractions that may bring them about.

Direct free kicks

With the occurrence of certain fouls, referees may award a direct free kick to the disadvantaged team. In the event of such penalties, the free kick is taken from the spot where the infraction occurred, with the team making the kick essentially having a free shot at the opponent’s goal, guarded only by the goalkeeper and a wall formed by the defending team.

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How to Persuade Youth Players in the USA That Soccer is the Best Sport to Play

36Soccer is the most popular sport in almost every country in the world. That is unless you live in the USA where football, baseball and basketball are more popular. As a soccer coach the problem is therefore how to get youth players interested in playing soccer rather than the other sports.

Firstly we need to look at the reasons as to why other sports are more popular than soccer in the USA. One of the main reasons is spectator appeal. Local football, baseball and basketball are televised and promoted in every major city in the US. Young athletes watch this and associate with their heroes. Another reason is the money available in the professional game is much more in the American sports than in soccer. As a result, more young sports players aspire to earn their living with a high income in the American sports.

Not that soccer is a poor mans sport. Wages for soccer players around the world are now on the increase. For example 2 of the best soccer players in the world Christiano Ronaldo and Robinho are reported to be on $200, 000 and $320,000 per week respectively. David Beckham who plays for LA Galaxy is also high up there with the top soccer player earners. Although the interest in soccer is growing in the US among young sportsmen, the sport cannot compete as yet with the publicity, advertising and hype of the American sports.

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How Often is the World Cup of Soccer Held?

35The World Cup is soccer’s biggest stage – it is the championship of the most widely played sport in the all of the world. The talk, preparation and qualifying for each incarnation of the World Cup tournament seems to be going on all the time – but the final of soccer’s biggest tournament only take place during a one month period every four years.

Many fans, clubs and organizations argue that the World Cup tournament itself, as well as the sport of soccer would benefit greatly from increasing the frequency of soccer’s world championship tournament. Some present very valid points and cite that other major sporting events that hold tournaments on an international level are capable of organizing those tournaments once every year.

There is no doubt that the World Cup’s allure wouldn’t be hurt by holding the tournament every three or even every two years. It would probably increase soccer’s international popularity and would certainly do well to increase the tournaments revenue potential – holding the tournament every two years would, in effect, double the amount of revenue created by the biggest international sports tournament. Reducing the number of years between World Cup tournaments would most likely also allow the qualifying team’s players to be more recognizable to fans – the players would be in front of the fans and on a big stage potentially twice as many times during their careers. This could potentially make fans feel more connected and attached to the players on the World Cup teams and possibly even cause an increase in the amount of people who tune in to watch the World Cup finals.

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Watching Soccer In Bristol In The Late 1940s

34My father and uncles were all rather casual fans of the Bristol Rovers football team, and on many Saturday afternoons they took me as a boy to watch matches at Eastville Stadium.

The first team played at home on alternate weekends and on the intervening Saturdays there was always a debate about whether or not to go to watch the reserve team. Most of the first team matches were attended, but the reserves were often given a miss, especially if the Bristol rugby team was playing at home on the nearby Memorial Ground. My paternal grandfather played rugby for Bristol in the years before the First World War and father played both rugby and soccer, so watching either game was equally pleasurable to him.

Regular attendance at Bristol Rovers matches soon made all the players familiar and after more than sixty years the team is still imprinted on the mind. Captain, Ray Warren, played at centre half and was the firm pillar around which the team was intended to revolve. He was flanked by the half-backs (mid-fielders), Jackie Pitt and Peter Sampson. Behind the captain were two stalwart fullbacks (defenders), Harry Bamford and Geoff Fox. Vic Lambden, scorer of 117 goals, was centre forward, or striker, with George Petherbridge on the right wing, Len Hodges inside right and Josser Watling on the left wing. Arthur Weare was in goal. The end of the decade, 1949, saw the first appearance of Geoff Bradford, Rovers’ highest scorer, with 242 goals in 462 league games, and the only Rovers player ever to play for the England national team.

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