football summary

Min menu


 Below is the article summary. For the full article, see football.A professional football (soccer) field. International rules allow for variations in the overall field dimensions, but the touch lines must be longer than the goal lines. Play begins with a kickoff at the center line. When the ball is driven across the touch line, it is put back in play by a throw-in by the opposing side. A ball driven over the goal line but not into the goal by the attacking team is returned to play with a goal kick by the opposing goalkeeper. A player fouled in the penalty area is awarded a penalty kick at the goal, which is defended only by the goalkeeper. Within the goal area the goalkeeper may use his hands to stop and hold the ball.

© Merriam-Webster Inc.

football, or association football or soccer, Game in which two 11-member teams try to propel a ball into the opposing team’s goal, using any part of the body except the hands and arms. Only the goalkeeper, when positioned within the penalty area in front of the goal, may use hands and arms. The game’s first uniform set of rules was put in place in 1863, when England’s Football Association was created. Professional leagues began appearing in the late 1880s, first in England and then in other countries. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded in 1904, and has hosted the World Cup every four years since 1930. Football has been included in the Olympic Games since 1908. Now played on all continents in over 200 countries, with over 250 million players, it is the world’s most popular ball game. See also Australian Rules football; Gaelic football; football, gridiron; and rugby.