Difference between Football and Soccer
Key difference: The term football encompasses a wide category of games. The aim of these games is to use a ball to score a goal, mainly by kicking or using the body to various extents. The most popular type of football in the world is association football, which is also known as just ‘football’ or ‘soccer.’ Other types of football include: American football, Australian Rules football, Canadian football, Gaelic football, Rugby League, Rugby Union, etc. These variations of football are known as football codes.
The term football encompasses a wide category of games. The aim of these games is to use a ball to score a goal, mainly by kicking or using the body to various extents. The most popular type of football in the world is association football, which is also known as just ‘football’ or ‘soccer.’ This type of football is played by over 250 million players in over 200 countries. Other types of football include: American football, Australian Rules football, Canadian football, Gaelic football, Rugby League, Rugby Union, etc. These variations of football are known as football codes.
Wikipedia lists the common elements between different football codes:
- Two teams of usually between 11 and 18 players; some variations that have fewer players (five or more per team) are also popular.
- A clearly defined area in which to play the game.
- Scoring goals or points, by moving the ball to an opposing team's end of the field and either into a goal area, or over a line.
- Goals or points resulting from players putting the ball between two goalposts.
- The goal or line being defended by the opposing team.
- Players being required to move the ball—depending on the code—by kicking, carrying, or hand-passing the ball.
- Players using only their body to move the ball.
Ball games played with the use of feet date back to the Ancient Greeks and Romans. In fact, there are instances of a type of football game called ‘cuju’ dating back to before 3rd century in China. However, the oldest instance of a type of football was the ‘Mesoamerican ballgame’ or ‘ōllamaliztli Nahuatl’ played by the indigenous peoples of Ancient Mexico and Central America since 1,400 B.C.
There were and are various different regional types of football played. Many did not even have any type of standardized rules, as they were mainly played recreationally. The rules of modern ‘football’ or ‘soccer’ are based on rules as standardized in England during mid-19th century. The mid-19th century rules were an attempt to standardize the varying types of football played in England’s public schools.
The current rules of soccer (association football) are dictated by FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), also known as International Federation of Association Football. FIFA is the highest international governing association for association football. FIFA also organizes the FIFA World Cup every four years.
As per FIFA’s rules, soccer is played between 11 players on a field and includes a spherical ball. The game consists of two halves of 45 minutes each, and does not include timeouts. The referee is the enforcer and the time keeper of the match and it is his responsibility to oversee that the match is played fair. Soccer has 17 Laws that govern the sport. The game is played only using feet, legs, head and torso. No player, with the exception of the goal keeper, may touch the ball with their hands during game play. The goal keeper’s job is to protect the goal net. The main objective of the game is score points by driving the ball in the opposing team’s net. The team with the most scores at the end of the game wins.
The game play starts with a coin-toss, to determine which team will play offence and the other defense. If the ball goes out of play, the field players are required to restart the game by throwing-in the ball. If the game is a draw, extra-time or a penalty shoot out, depending on the format of the competition will determine the final score. Other than kicking or blocking the ball, no other contact is allowed.
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