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Though the modern sport of soccer is a relatively recent phenomenon, "football" is an ancient game, tracing its roots back across many centuries, and many cultures, ever since people first realized that round objects roll. From a game played with round crops, stuffed leather, and the skulls of vanquished enemies, it has evolved to the relatively civilized sporting event that we know today.
Of course, "civilization" is often in the eye of the beholder. And because soccer inspires passion as well as excitement and devotion among its fans, there have been occasions when a crowd's enthusiasm has gotten the better of its sense of fair play...and riots and wars have started over the outcome.
Soccer is becoming increasingly popular the United States. Writer Jessica Deets traces its roots from ancient China to the present day.
By: Jessica Deets
While some might think soccer is nothing more than a silly game that has players running around a field trying to kick a black and white ball into a guarded net, the truth of the matter is the sport itself has a deep and rich history. Soccer has been around longer than even the United States, much longer, and is believed to have had its origins in ancient China. From a rudimentary game to practically a worldwide sensation, soccer is more than just a game for many, it's a way of life.
The sport itself is believed to have its roots in China, having developed somewhere around the 2nd century BC. The game then was probably nothing like it is now and most likely was meant as a skill developing activity rather than a sport. Nonetheless, there is evidence the game involved the dribbling of a leather ball and kicking it into a net. In ancient Greece and Rome, a similar game was played as well, this one though allowed the ball to be carried.
Soccer's more modern roots grew in England where the story goes the first game was played using the head of a Danish outlaw. The game was banned in 1365 by King Edward III because it was too violent and too much of a diversion. It seems the troops spent more time playing kick ball than they did honing their skills on the battlefield.
Through the years, the sport developed into the game it is today. Its prominence is felt throughout Europe, Central and South America where literally millions follow the efforts of their favorite teams in play. In fact, soccer is perhaps the world's most loved sport, although Americans might beg to differ with their love of football and baseball. However, the American sports haven't caught on as much as soccer has on the global playing field, and for some reason, professional soccer hasn't caught on in America, but it is changing.
On almost any given weekend, and many a weeknight too, thousands and thousands of American youngsters are on the soccer fields playing in organized games, hoping to master their skills and bring in the winning goal. The game is quite popular among America's youth and it's continuing to spread like wildfire.
A little less violent than football (unless the fans of professional teams are included in the mix) and a bit different, this is a sport loved by many a youth around the world. The sport itself requires less gear than football and is a bit easier to get involved in. The skills required are slightly different as the game is somewhat of a mix of field hockey and football. The idea behind it is to kick the ball into the opposing team's goal.
Soccer's popularity is catching on and although professional teams in the U.S. have had a hard time surviving, it's quite likely the sport will see a revival as the soccer youth of today age into the viewers and fans of tomorrow.
Copyright (c) 2006
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