Football is a game coveted by the young and the old, the rich and the poor, and professionals and amateurs. The nature of the game is all-inclusive and highly immersive for both players and spectators. However, the current football game as we know it has the shortest human history linked to it, just like the online gambling industry characterized by TrueBluecasino and other operators. The game historians indicate the beginning of today’s football as the year 1863. The year also marks the formation of the Football Association. Historical information preceding this period does not include the current football game structure, rules, or gameplay.
Football History Before 1863
The game originates from the Mesoamerican culture around 3000 years ago, characterized by a rock as the ball. The ball was mainly a symbol of the sun and life, and the losing team would often lose their lives as a sacrifice to the gods. The Mesoamerican cultures proceeding that period used a bouncing rubber ball for the game.
In the 1800s, the Chinese invented another ball game named Cuju, played within a square and made up of feathers locked in leather and stitched together. The aboriginal Australians further advanced the game by introducing kicks, where an individual would play by kicking the ball across to each other. However, their balls were encased in roots and made of leaves.
The ball game soon spread to Ancient Greece during the 7th Century. Some documents can prove the occurrence of ball games in this period. However, it wasn’t a sport for the general public and people to enjoy in ancient Rome, but a training tool for the military given the name harpastum. The Romans would then travel to England, then called the British island or Britannica.
Football Development and Structure Prior to 1863
Historians highlight that the most football activity of gameplay was in this era in Britain. However, the ball game had no specific rules, and people would kick and punch the ball. The matches occurred in large open spaces due to the high number of participants, and the violence involved could level out cities. In the 12th century, the game going by the name “Calcio” took place. Still, the rampage that resulted and the death of participants led to a worldwide ban, and no football-like activities were witnessed until the 17th Century. However, another ban occurred in 1835, but the game had already spread to public schools.
These public schools in Britain were Rugby and Eton, who practiced different types of ball games. As the name indicates, rugby is the current form of rugby where individuals play the ball using their hands, while in Eton, the students played by passing the ball to each other using their feet. The Rugby form of football was “the running game,” while Eton football was “the dribbling game.”
An initial meeting in Cambridge back in 1848 aimed at stabilizing and structuring the ball games came to no fruition. However, another was scheduled in 1863 in London and ended with forming the first football association. The association set several rules, including the prohibition of the use of hands during the game, and standardized the ball size and weight. However, it was only the start of forming the games.
First Football Club
According to historians, the first football club is difficult to identify before the formation of the football association in 1863. Most of the records have no data on football clubs before the 15th Century. The first club was the Foot-Ball Club, formed in Edinburgh back in 1824. The first official student-based group was the Sheffield, formed in 1835. However, the earliest formal and sanctioned football club was Notts County. The group is still in existence to date. During this period, alumnae students from public schools would form groups, unsanctioned and highly unorganized.
The industrial period played a considerable role in the development of football clubs and the game itself. People were travelling across major lands for trade, church-based gatherings, and the development of factories. The establishment of significant cities with roads and rail led to the formation and improvement of football and game clubs. Players and teams could travel to other cities for sporting events and vice versa.
Team composition was mainly for public school students, but this began to change with industrialization. More often, workers would develop teams and engage in gaming competitions. With time, the clubs saw the need to poach players from other groups, and the motivating factor was payment. Clubs would pay their best players to participate in the games and to join their teams. The transition led to little friction and peace reined, allowing the game to develop professionally.
The motivation associated with actual pay for the players saw the development of fan-based competitions where spectators would have to purchase tickets to watch the game in the 1800s. It was the start of the formation of the current football competitions around the world, including FIFA. In 1885, the game became a legal entity with the term professional football. After the legalization, the Football League was established the following three years back in 1888.
The Football League
The football league forms the first event where official football clubs played against each other for entertainment and fun. The first event took place in 1888, with twelve teams participating in the game. The twelve teams were from the north of England and the Midlands, which was not a good representation. Therefore, the Football League formed the Southern League back in 1894. The Southern League event brought together football teams from the south of England. The first broadcast event took place live on radio in 1927.
The First Twelve
The first twelve teams were all male-based football teams and clubs. Historians indicate that women didn’t engage in football and other sporting activities in this period. The first football team comprised of women was not seen before the 19th Century. The first official women’s football game took place in 1895, where the North Dick Kerr’s Ladies Beat the South St Helen’s Ladies 7 to 1. However, the Football Association banned football for women, and it was not until the 1960s that the debate for women to play football arose once again.
The first twelve teams making up the Football League include:
- Wolverhampton Wanderers
- West Bromwich Albion
- Stoke City
- Preston North End
- Notts County
- Derby Country
- Bolton Wanderers
- Blackburn Rovers
- Aston Villa
Football popularity soars even higher each passing day, and the clubs have advanced in terms of technology and game planning. As indicated above, the first football teams formed the twelve who participated in the Football League back in 1888. Earlier records of football clubs are pretty few and with no clear distinctions as to the club operations or growth. However, as witnessed today, some of the first twelve teams are still in existence today.