Quick Intro: History of Soccer
The exact starting point of the history of soccer is a bit unknown. From as far back as 1004 BC, there were games played that involved kicking a round object. This object was not always a ball—in fact, stuffed cloth, animal bladders and even a human skull were kicked for sport. It was not until 611 BC where an official object-kicking game was held in Kyoto, Japan.
By the 14th century, many people in England participated in the game of soccer. This game angered King Edward, who ruled over England at that time. He felt that soccer was inherently evil. He threatened to imprison anyone found playing soccer in his country. England spent many years trying to stop the practice of soccer. Even though the English people were sentenced to jail and church penance, the game of soccer continued to be played. Finally, in the year 1681, soccer became legal in the country of England. Soccer continued to gain popularity in that country. Towns would travel many miles to other towns to play a game of soccer with a ball that was merely a blown up animal bladder.
The invention of the rubber ball in 1836 by Charles Goodyear was a big turning point for the sport. Animal bladders were often different sizes and shapes. The rubber ball ensured that the ball was indeed round. In 1863 a group called the English Football Association got together to come up with official rules for this sport.
In 1930, the first world cup tournament was played in Uruguay. Thirteen teams took place in these games. The final game of the tournament was between Uruguay and Argentina. With a crowd of 93,000 people in the stands watching, Uruguay won the first world cup 4-2. Even though men’s soccer was included in the Olympic games in the year 1908, women’s soccer would not make it’s first appearance until 1996. Soccer continues to be the most popular sport in the world. The world cup is watched by more than 33 million people every year.