The Basics of Football


Football is a sport in which two teams of eleven players compete to score points by kicking or carrying a ball across the opponent’s goal line or into their end zone. The team that scores the most points wins the game.

The sport is governed internationally by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). There are many national associations worldwide, all of which oversee football within their jurisdictions.

FIFA is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, and has offices in numerous other locations around the world. It also regulates international competitions, including the FIFA World Cup.

History and Origins

The earliest known form of football may have originated in China during the 2nd and 3rd centuries B.C. Other games that incorporated kicking a ball include Harpastum, an ancient Roman game played by the wealthy and noble classes.

In England, the modern game was codified in 1863 following the formation of the Football Association, whose Laws of the Game created the foundations for the way the game is played today.

Some of the earliest rules of the game included a mark, free kick, tackling and a rule against throwing the ball. The laws were formulated in order to promote fair play, to prevent injury and to ensure that the game was not unnecessarily rough or violent.

As with most other sports, football can be physically taxing for players who participate in it on a regular basis. However, if the game is played as part of a healthy lifestyle, it can be a great way to improve one’s cardiovascular health and build strength in muscles.

The number of players in a team can vary dramatically from one game to the next. In the NFL, for example, there is no limit to the number of running backs, wide receivers and tight ends who can be on the field at any one time. A team’s offensive strategy, and its overall style of play, is determined by the number of players it employs in these positions.

Positions and Specialisation

The player positions in football are not specified in the Laws of the Game, but there have been a number of player specialisations over time. These include forwards or strikers, who specialise in scoring goals; defenders, who specialise in preventing their opponents from scoring; and midfielders, who specialise in dispossessing the opposition and allowing the team’s forwards to gain possession of the ball.

Each position has its own set of rules and regulations that govern their behaviour during a match, although most of these are defined by the managers and coaches of each team. The main laws are:


A player is considered offside if they are closer to an opponent’s goal-line than they are to the half-way line and if they are not behind the last defending player. This is often a major disadvantage for attacking players, as it restricts their ability to move forward into space.

Offside penalties can be quite costly for an attacking team, and it is important to understand the law so that you don’t become penalised yourself.