Football: History, Rules, & Players

Football – otherwise known as soccer – has a thriving and exciting history that has garnered attention from people all across the globe. It’s a sport that has united several countries together for these events. Not only that, but it’s practically a religion to many fans.

How did it get to this point? Below, we’ll discuss exactly what went down.


While some would say football was created in the mid-19th century, historians uncovered football dating back almost 3,000 years ago. Older than gambling, historians found Mesoamerican cultures that would kick a ball made of rock.

The “ball” would symbolize the sun and in the game, should the team lose, the captain of that team would be sacrificed to the gods.

A little grim for sure, but it quickly developed from there.

The first actual known ball game took place in China around the 3rd and 2nd century BC. They had a game called Cuju. It eventually spread to Japan which practiced this game ceremonially.

But up to this point, these were pocketed events that didn’t really spread very far. That was until the 12th century in England. There, we’d see games played very much like our modern-day football.

The only difference is that football then was more violent. You could even punch the ball while today you can’t. By this point, the football game was picking up and these games involved large groups of people.

Considering the fact that the game would essentially devolve into all-out brawls in public, London banned the sport twice. Once around the 12th century and again in 1835.

The only issue is the second time it was banned, this game was adopted in schools.

By this point, the sport began to evolve. Especially since around the time rugby was in development and the two sports were basically indistinguishable. It was around 1848, when Cambridge members established the ground rules of football, distinguishing them significantly from Rugby.

Even then, the rules continued to further develop and change as the years went on since then. Clubs were formed, eventually developing into sports teams. Organizations like stepped in like FIFA and started to host cups and various league events.


Throughout history, the rules of the game have changed a lot. No longer are we sacrificing people to the gods, but are still kicking a ball.

But up until 1848, there were no distinct sets of rules established. At the time, the rules were made up and discussed amongst the groups involved at the time. As such, it’s difficult to explain how the rules changed over time.

Football before that point was clearly chaotic. From the sacrifices to the all-out brawls in 12th-century England, death was a particular theme to this sport. The only seemingly sensible period where football was sane was with Cuju.

Even then, the rules aren’t clear.

But once rules were established and began shifting, the game calmed down in that sense.

Instead, the chaos was to the various fans attending these events. And once international organizations stepped in, rules were more uniform and clear. Since then, the rules haven’t changed at all.


Naturally, the players have changed over time as well. No longer are they focused on winning in order to survive, but to play the game for the thrill of winning. Beforehand where there were no rules, each player would have their own motivations.

But with uniform rules established, the motivations of players shifted and changed. Once clear boundaries were set and players were given clearer goals, the game became more accepted and controlled.

Even today that much is made clear. Regardless of whether it’s casual play or part of a small team or part of an official sports team. The attitude of the players is distinct. They are looking to win within the parameters of the rules.


How football came to be was from a variety of adaptations over the centuries.

They were bloody and gruesome, but from those events, a sport that many fans loved was born. It developed over time and with large international companies creating leagues and world championships, many people have become great fans of this game.