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Gameplay

Association football is played in accordance with a set of rules known as the Laws of the Game. The game is played using a spherical ball (of 71 cm (28 in) circumference in FIFA play), known as the football (or soccer ball). Two teams of eleven players each compete to get the ball into the other team's goal (between the posts and under the bar), thereby scoring a goal. The team that has scored more goals at the end of the game is the winner; if both teams have scored an equal number of goals then the game is a draw. Each team is led by a captain who has only one official responsibility as mandated by the Laws of the Game: to be involved in the coin toss prior to kick-off or penalty kicks.[7]
The primary law is that players other than goalkeepers may not deliberately handle the ball with their hands or arms during play, though they do use their hands during a throw-in restart. Although players usually use their feet to move the ball around, they may use any part of their body (notably, "heading" with the forehead)[8] other than their hands or arms.[9] Within normal play, all players are free to play the ball in any direction and move throughout the pitch, though the ball cannot be received in an offside position.[10]
In typical game play, players attempt to create goal-scoring opportunities through individual control of the ball, such as by dribbling, passing the ball to a team-mate, and by taking shots at the goal, which is guarded by the opposing goalkeeper. Opposing players may try to regain control of the ball by intercepting a pass or through tackling the opponent in possession of the ball; however, physical contact between opponents is restricted. Football is generally a free-flowing game, with play stopping only when the ball has left the field of play or when play is stopped by the referee for an infringement of the rules. After a stoppage, play recommences with a specified restart.[11]
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A goalkeeper dives to stop the ball from entering his goal
At a professional level, most matches produce only a few goals. For example, the 2005–06 season of the English Premier League produced an average of 2.48 goals per match.[12] The Laws of the Game do not specify any player positions other than goalkeeper,[13] but a number of specialised roles have evolved. Broadly, these include three main categories: strikers, or forwards, whose main task is to score goals; defenders, who specialise in preventing their opponents from scoring; and midfielders, who dispossess the opposition and keep possession of the ball in order to pass it to the forwards on their team. Players in these positions are referred to as outfield players, in order to distinguish them from the goalkeeper. These positions are further subdivided according to the area of the field in which the player spends most time. For example, there are central defenders, and left and right midfielders. The ten outfield players may be arranged in any combination. The number of players in each position determines the style of the team's play; more forwards and fewer defenders creates a more aggressive and offensive-minded game, while the reverse creates a slower, more defensive style of play. While players typically spend most of the game in a specific position, there are few restrictions on player movement, and players can switch positions at any time.[14] The layout of a team's players is known as a formation. Defining the team's formation and tactics is usually the prerogative of the team's manager.[15]
History
Main article: History of association football
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England playing Scotland in the first-ever international football game (The Oval, 1872)
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The Royal Engineers team who reached the first FA Cup final in 1872
Games revolving around the kicking of a ball have been played in many countries throughout history. According to FIFA, the "very earliest form of the game for which there is scientific evidence was an exercise from a military manual dating back to the second and third centuries BC in China", which was known as cuju.[16] The modern rules of association football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played at the public schools of England. The history of football in England dates back to at least the eighth century.[17]
The Cambridge Rules, first drawn up at Cambridge University in 1848, were particularly influential in the development of subsequent codes, including association football. The Cambridge Rules were written at Trinity College, Cambridge, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Harrow, Rugby, Winchester and Shrewsbury schools. They were not universally adopted. During the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world, to play various forms of football. Some came up with their own distinct codes of rules, most notably the Sheffield Football Club, formed by former public school pupils in 1857,[18] which led to formation of a Sheffield FA in 1867. In 1862, John Charles Thring of Uppingham School also devised an influential set of rules.[19]
These ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association (The FA) in 1863, which first met on the morning of 26 October 1863 at the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, London.[20] The only school to be represented on this occasion was Charterhouse. The Freemason's Tavern was the setting for five more meetings between October and December, which eventually produced the first comprehensive set of rules. At the final meeting, the first FA treasurer, the representative from Blackheath, withdrew his club from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting: the first allowed for running with the ball in hand; the second for obstructing such a run by hacking (kicking an opponent in the shins), tripping and holding. Other English rugby football clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA, or subsequently left the FA and instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union. The eleven remaining clubs, under the charge of Ebenezer Cobb Morley, went on to ratify the original thirteen laws of the game.[20] These rules included handling of the ball by "marks" and the lack of a crossbar, rules which made it remarkably similar to Victorian rules football being developed at that time in Australia. The Sheffield FA played by its own rules until the 1870s with the FA absorbing some of its rules until there was little difference between the games.[21]
The laws of the game are currently determined by the International Football Association Board (IFAB).[22] The Board was formed in 1886[23] after a meeting in Manchester of The Football Association, the Scottish Football Association, the Football Association of Wales, and the Irish Football Association. The world's oldest football competition is the FA Cup, which was founded by C. W. Alcock and has been contested by English teams since 1872. The first official international football match took place in 1872 between Scotland and England in Glasgow, again at the instigation of C. W. Alcock. England is home to the world's first football league, which was founded in Birmingham in 1888 by Aston Villa director William McGregor.[24] The original format contained 12 clubs from the Midlands and the North of England. FIFA, the international football body, was formed in Paris in 1904 and declared that they would adhere to Laws of the Game of the Football Association.[25] The growing popularity of the international game led to the admittance of FIFA representatives to the International Football Association Board in 1913. The board currently consists of four representatives from FIFA and one representative from each of the four British associations.[26]
Today, football is played at a professional level all over the world. Millions of people regularly go to football stadiums to follow their favourite teams,[27] while billions more watch the game on television or on the internet.[28] A very large number of people also play football at an amateur level. According to a survey conducted by FIFA published in 2001, over 240 million people from more than 200 countries regularly play football.[29] Football has the highest global television audience in sport.[30]
In many parts of the world football evokes great passions and plays an important role in the life of individual fans, local communities, and even nations. The Côte d'Ivoire national football team helped secure a truce to the nation's civil war in 2006[31] and it helped further reduce tensions between government and rebel forces in 2007 by playing a match in the rebel capital of Bouaké, an occasion that brought both armies together peacefully for the first time.[32] By contrast, football is widely considered to be the final proximate cause in the Football War in June 1969 between El Salvador and Honduras.[33] The sport also exacerbated tensions at the beginning of the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, when a match between Dinamo Zagreb and Red Star Belgrade degenerated into rioting in March 1990.[34]
Laws
There are 17 laws in the official Laws of the Game. The same laws are designed to apply to all levels of football, although certain modifications for groups such as juniors, seniors, women and people with physical disabilities are permitted. The laws are often framed in broad terms, which allow flexibility in their application depending on the nature of the game. The Laws of the Game are published by FIFA, but are maintained by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), not FIFA itself.[35] In addition to the seventeen laws, numerous IFAB decisions and other directives contribute to the regulation of football. The most complex of the laws is offside. The offside law limits the ability of attacking players to receive the ball when closer to the opponent's goal line than: the ball itself; the second-to-last defending player (which can include the goalkeeper); and the half-way line.[10]
Players, equipment, and officials
See also: Association football positions, Formation (association football), and Kit (association football)
Each team consists of a maximum of eleven players (excluding substitutes), one of whom must be the goalkeeper. Competition rules may state a minimum number of players required to constitute a team, which is usually seven. Goalkeepers are the only players allowed to play the ball with their hands or arms, provided they do so within the penalty area in front of their own goal. Though there are a variety of positions in which the outfield (non-goalkeeper) players are strategically placed by a coach, these positions are not defined or required by the Laws.[13]
The basic equipment or kit players are required to wear includes a shirt, shorts, socks, footwear and adequate shin guards. Headgear is not a required piece of basic equipment, but players today may choose to wear it to protect themselves from head injury. Players are forbidden to wear or use anything that is dangerous to themselves or another player, such as jewellery or watches. The goalkeeper must wear clothing that is easily distinguishable from that worn by the other players and the match officials.[36]
A number of players may be replaced by substitutes during the course of the game. The maximum number of substitutions permitted in most competitive international and domestic league games is three, though the permitted number may vary in other competitions or in friendly matches. Common reasons for a substitution include injury, tiredness, ineffectiveness, a tactical switch, or timewasting at the end of a finely poised game. In standard adult matches, a player who has been substituted may not take further part in a match.[37] IFAB recommends that "that a match should not continue if there are fewer than seven players in either team." Any decision regarding points awarded for abandoned games is left to the individual football associations.[38]
A game is officiated by a referee, who has "full authority to enforce the Laws of the Game in connection with the match to which he has been appointed" (Law 5), and whose decisions are final. The referee is assisted by two assistant referees. In many high-level games there is also a fourth official who assists the referee and may replace another official should the need arise.[39]
Pitch
Main article: Association football pitch
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Standard pitch measurements (See Imperial version)
As the Laws were formulated in England, and were initially administered solely by the four British football associations within IFAB, the standard dimensions of a football pitch were originally expressed in imperial units. The Laws now express dimensions with approximate metric equivalents (followed by traditional units in brackets), though popular use tends to continue to use traditional units in English-speaking countries with a relatively recent history of metrication (or only partial metrication), such as Britain.[40]
The length of the pitch for international adult matches is in the range of 100–110 m (110–120 yd) and the width is in the range of 64–75 m (70–80 yd). Fields for non-international matches may be 90–120 m (100–130 yd) length and 45–90 m (50–100 yd) in width, provided that the pitch does not become square. Although in 2008, the IFAB initially approved a fixed size of 105 m (344 ft) long and 68 m (223 ft) wide as a standard pitch dimension for A international matches,[41] this decision was later put on hold and was never actually implemented.[42]
The longer boundary lines are touchlines, while the shorter boundaries (on which the goals are placed) are goal lines. A rectangular goal is positioned at the middle of each goal line.[43] The inner edges of the vertical goal posts must be 7.32 m (8 yd) apart, and the lower edge of the horizontal crossbar supported by the goal posts must be 2.44 m (8 ft) above the ground. Nets are usually placed behind the goal, but are not required by the Laws.[44]
In front of each goal is an area known as the penalty area. This area is marked by the goal line, two lines starting on the goal line 16.5 m (18 yd) from the goalposts and extending 16.5 m (18 yd) into the pitch perpendicular to the goal line, and a line joining them. This area has a number of functions, the most prominent being to mark where the goalkeeper may handle the ball and where a penalty foul by a member of the defending team becomes punishable by a penalty kick. Other markings define the position of the ball or players at kick-offs, goal kicks, penalty kicks and corner kicks.[45]
Duration and tie-breaking methods
A standard adult football match consists of two periods of 45 minutes each, known as halves. Each half runs continuously, meaning that the clock is not stopped when the ball is out of play. There is usually a 15-minute half-time break between halves. The end of the match is known as full-time.[46] The referee is the official timekeeper for the match, and may make an allowance for time lost through substitutions, injured players requiring attention, or other stoppages. This added time is most commonly referred to as stoppage time or injury time, while loss time can also be used as a synonym. The duration of stoppage time is at the sole discretion of the referee. The referee alone signals the end of the match. In matches where a fourth official is appointed, toward the end of the half the referee signals how many minutes of stoppage time he intends to add. The fourth official then informs the players and spectators by holding up a board showing this number. The signalled stoppage time may be further extended by the referee.[46] Added time was introduced because of an incident which happened in 1891 during a match between Stoke and Aston Villa. Trailing 1–0 and with just two minutes remaining, Stoke were awarded a penalty. Villa's goalkeeper kicked the ball out of the ground, and by the time the ball had been recovered, the 90 minutes had elapsed and the game was over.[47] The same law also stands that the duration of either half is extended until the penalty kick to be taken or retaken is completed, thus no game shall end with a penalty to be taken.[48]
In league competitions, games may end in a draw, but in some knockout competitions if a game is tied at the end of regulation time it may go into extra time, which consists of two further 15-minute periods. If the score is still tied after extra time, some competitions allow the use of penalty shootouts (known officially in the Laws of the Game as "kicks from the penalty mark") to determine which team will progress to the next stage of the tournament. Goals scored during extra time periods count toward the final score of the game, but kicks from the penalty mark are only used to decide the team that progresses to the next part of the tournament (with goals scored in a penalty shootout not making up part of the final score).[7]
In competitions using two-legged matches, each team competes at home once, with an aggregate score from the two matches deciding which team progresses. Where aggregates are equal, the away goals rule may be used to determine the winners, in which case the winner is the team that scored the most goals in the leg played away from home. If the result is still equal, kicks from the penalty mark are required.[7]
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the IFAB experimented with ways of creating a winner without requiring a penalty shootout, which was often seen as an undesirable way to end a match. These involved rules ending a game in extra time early, either when the first goal in extra time was scored (golden goal), or if one team held a lead at the end of the first period of extra time (silver goal). Golden goal was used at the World Cup in 1998 and 2002. The first World Cup game decided by a golden goal was France's victory over Paraguay in 1998. Germany was the first nation to score a golden goal in a major competition, beating Czech Republic in the final of Euro 1996. Silver goal was used in Euro 2004. Both these experiments have been discontinued by IFAB.[49]…...

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...Robert Smith SOC 2340 September 11, 2015 E-Sports International Gaming is becoming more and more popular as new federations continue to pop up like MLG (Major League Gaming) and the International E-Sport Federation. Online competition has rapidly grown throughout the years, and continues to grow as technology grows. If e-sports have become this popular and more enjoyable to watch and play, then why are they not considered to be apart of the Olympic games? Do the Olympics fear for the future? Are they afraid that technology might take over sooner than they expected? I think that it is time the Olympic Games stop defining sports as only competitive games involving physical activity, and start letting technology and the future make history. I want to move the petition forward to make e-sports Olympic games and here is why. What do we think of when we think of sports? Fast paced activities involving lots of rigorous physical exertion, and very well practiced physical skills. I think that we sometimes look past other competitive activities solely because they do not involve physical activity. This is where e-sports come into play, and it may be hard to adapt to at first, because only the younger generation people will understand all of the new technology and games better than most older generation people. StarCraft 2, Dota 2, and League of Legends are all online competitive PC games, where millions of players online from around the world fight and compete with each other.......

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Sports

...27/12/2015 Travel Biz Monitor :: Print Article [ PRINT]   [CLOSE] Features Monday, 24 January, 2011, 14 : 00 PM [IST] Sports Tourism: A rapidly evolving niche in India A holiday with friends or family to witness a mega sporting event is no longer an alien concept for Indian travellers. The number of travellers keen on a ring side seat to cheer for the ‘men in blue’ at the upcoming ICC  Cricket  World  Cup  2011  in  India,  Sri  Lanka  and  Bangladesh  or  their  favourite  team  during  T20 tournament or driver in a formula one race is rapidly growing. And these sporting enthusiasts are willing to spend ‘top dollar’ to jet set across the globe to experience the thrill of watching their favourite game live. These fans also like to ‘live it up’ exploring and enjoying the destination simultaneously.  Correspondingly, there has also been a marked rise in the number of tour operators and agents specializing in  servicing  the  requirements  of  this  particular  segment.  It’s  not  only  niche  specialists,  but  also ......

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