82-Soccer Or Football-3 : Rules of the Game
1815 - First Rules of Football
In 1815, the famous
English school Eaton College established a set of rules which other
schools, colleges, universities began to follow. Later they were standardized
as Cambridge Rules and were adopted in 1848.
1863 - Official Football Association Founded
There had been rules in the past - too many and often conflicting. From the
early 19th century the games were played on the pitches, playgrounds and
cloisters of England's public schools, but all schools differed in their
rules. Cambridge undergraduates were very frustrated, so they unified the
rules between mid 1840 to late 1840, but they were not acceptable until 1863.
Twelve clubs and schools met to finalize everything - 11 agreed but one differed.
So 11 clubs and schools formed the Football Association. Fourteen laws were
penned down and it became the most played, watched and talked game on the planet
In 1869, the Football Association made a rule which forbade any handling of
1872 - Football Goes International
First International game was played between England and Scotland (0-0) with
the attendance of 4,000 audience in 1872. But in those days the game looked
more like Rugby than modern day football. Although the game was more developed
in England but Scotland's revolutionary passing tactics proved more effective.
1886 - First Meeting of International Football Association Board (IFAB)
Despite of the unification
of rules and creation of the Football Association in 1863, disputes still continued.
Finally then International Football Association Board put them to end. It was meant
to protect and preserve the rules. This constituted of two representatives of the
four from each of the four associations of the UK. Its first meeting was held in
In 1888, 12 clubs were persuaded to agree to a regular home and away fixture list -
so creating the English Football League.
1891 - Referees, Penalties, and Nets
There was no such thing as penalties till 1891, because it was assumed that a
public schools student of England can never deliberately commit a foul.
Introduction of penalty, as it was originally called "the kick of
death", was a result of increased competition and a commitment of
fairness. The referee was allowed to play in the field.
By the time the first FA Cup and International fixture took place, two
umpires, one per team, were employed to whom each side would complain.
Referee's duties changed in 1891. Then a single person was invested with
the powers to send players off, give penalties, and free kicks without
listening to appeals became a permanent feature of this game, while the
two umpires were made linesmen, or "assistant referees" as
they are called now. A goal net was also accepted in that meeting after
the introduction of crossbar to replace tape introduced 16 years before.
The Present IFAB
The Present IFAB - The IFAB is composed of the Football associations of
England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, who each have a vote
together with FIFA who represents the other 201 member associations with
four votes. For a proposal to succeed, it must receive the support of at
least 3/4th votes of those present and entitled to vote.
With the condition that principles of the Laws are maintained, rules may be
modified for the players under 16 years of age, for women players, for
veteran players (over 35 years of age), and for players of disabilities.
The following modifications are allowed -
(1) Size of he field,
(2) Size, weight and material of the ball,
(3) Width between the Goal Posts and height of the crossbar from the ground,
(4) Duration of the periods of the game, and
FIFA has published all this in its handbook which can be downloaded free from
Any kind of ball may be used, but the right size plays the game right.
Circumference - minimum 27" (68 cms); and maximum 28" (70 cms).
Weight - minimum 14 oz (410 gms); and maximum 16 oz (450 gms) at the start of the match.
Pressure - equal to 0.6 1.1 atmosphere (600 1100 g/cm2).
Still the game can be played by any ball. Diego Maradona, the famous player of
Brazil, learned his game by using a knotted bundle of cloth rags.