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History of English Sports

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Essay title: History of English Sports

History of English Sports

Sports are a favorite pastime of everybody. Through out history, sports have been a predominate part of each individual culture. English sports have arguably had the greatest impact of the sports played in the world today. Almost all of the sports we have come to know and love today have their origins in England. Though English sports are not played by everyone, they have left a lasting legacy on the world to come.

Rugby is one of England’s most popular sports. William Webb Ellis is credited with the invention of rugby in 1823. During a soccer match, he was confused and picked up the ball and started running with it. Rugby started to develop out of large scale public schools. Little did they know that it would turn in to such a violent sport. Other schools experimented with different sizes and shapes of the balls. The oval ball eventually became the national standard. The defining of the code began in 1863. 1863 was also the year that the Football Association was formed. This association outlawed several aspects of the game like hooking and handling. In 1871 at the Paul Mall restaurant, the Rugby Football Union was formed (Cannon 826). In 1895, teams in northern England created the Northern Rugby Union. The union eventually evolved into a professional version (Wukovits 107). The Scottish Rugby League was then formed in 1873. The Irish Rugby League eventually came in 1874, and then the Welsh Rugby League in 1881. Like soccer, the balance moved in favor of the northern teams. This caused accusations of professionalism. The accusations were under the pretense of broken-line payments. In 1845, many of the northern clubs broke away and formed their own individual union. In 1922, that union became the Rugby Football League. During this time they reduced the number of players on the field from fifteen to thirteen. This change unexpectedly attracted more spectators (Cannon 826). In 1948, the International Rugby League was formed. Rugby in the United States is mainly played at the university level, even though it is played recreationally in some areas (Wukovits 826).

The game of rugby consists of two forty-minute periods. They play non-stop unitl a score or penalty occurs, or the ball travels out of bounds. The ball can be advanced by running, kicking, or passing. Once a player gets tackled he must immediately release the ball. Scoring can be accomplished in one of four ways. Three points are awarded for a “try”. A “try” occurs when a player crosses the opposing team’s goal line. A team is awarded two points for a “goal”. To get a “goal”, a player must kick the ball through the uprights. A “goal” is attempted after a “try”. Three points are given for either a “dropkick” or a penalty goal. A rugby field can have a maximum width of seventy-five yards. The maximum length allowed is 157 yards. The goal lines are set at 109 yards apart. Behind these lines is the “in-goal”, which can be set up to twenty-four yards deep. On each side of the goal line there is a goal post. These posts are sixty-one yards apart and the crossbar is thirty-three yards from the ground. The team with the most points at the end of play wins the game (Wukovits 106).

Soccer, which is the world’s most popular sport, originated in England. In fact, most of the nations across Europe have soccer as their national sport. The earliest form of soccer came from China. They called it “Tsu-chu”, which was started around 1697 B.C. The Romans picked up this sport from the Chinese and introduced it to the English. When the English saw this rough sport, they fell in love with it. When they first began to play, they named their version “ludus pilae”. The men from one village would often challenge the men from another village. The game spread to the schools in England during the 1800’s. In 1848, a group of athletes from Cambridge University developed a set of rules. Fourteen years later in 1862, J.C. Thring revised these rules. During this time they officially changed the name to “Soccer”. The new rules were adopted by the London Football Association on December 8, 1863. This was when the soccer as we know it today was born (Wukovits 118-119). On October 26, 1863, a historic meeting took place at Freemason’s Tavern in London. This meeting is taken by some as the birth date of modern day soccer. During the later part of the 1800’s, upper class public schools adopted soccer. This move immediately made it a classy sport. Soccer has grown to astounding popularity over the years (Fromer 23).

The object of soccer is to have more goals scored at the end of the game than the other team. At any given time, there are only eleven players on the field. The players on each team try to get the ball to the opposing team’s side of the field so they can score a goal. The game consists of two forty minute halves. Forward, midfield,

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