Who invented the game called football?
All forms of football including American football, Canadian football, Australian rules football, Gaelic football, Association football (soccer), Rugby Union and Rugby League football can be traced back hundreds of years to a ball game known as "Shrovetide football". The word "football" is from the English language and from early medieval times the term "fote-ball" (first recorded c.1400) was used to describe a 'ball game played on foot' not necessarily with the foot. Early football games were not only played by the English but also by other European peoples groups under different names with localised innovations. Other forms include Irish "Caid" meaning 'Ball' the ancestor of Gaelic football, Cornish Hurling "HyrlÃ�Â®an", Welsh Hurling "Cnapan", "Knattleikr" a Viking ball game. A game called "La Soule" meaning 'The Ball' was played in France, "Ba" pronounced baw meaning 'Ball' played in Scotland and "Ball play" or "Playing at ball" or significantly "fote-ball" games played in England. These medieval ball games are the ones from which all modern football codes evolved and the Shrovetide ball game referred to as "fote-ball" is the version from which all modern football games take their name. These games may have evolved from a game played by the Romans called "Harpastum" which itself was an adaptation of an Ancient Greek game called "Episkyros" or "Phaininda" which, dating back to at least the 4th century BC, is the Worlds oldest known ball game that matches the medieval definition of football. It is worth noting that Harpastum was later recreated in 16th centaury Italy as "Calcio". Although there is a strong possibility the Roman and Greek ball games evolved into Shrovetide football and other similar ball games played in Europe as yet there are no verifiable connections. The Ancient Chinese also played a game called "Cuju" that dates back to the late 3rd centaury BC which has similarities to Association football. However, despite attempts by FIFA to infer an historical link between Cuju and Association Football there are no connections between Cuju and early ball games played in medieval Europe.
Throughout history, people have played sports which involved using a ball and hands, feet, or sticks. Each area had its own rules. so there was no global definition of any sport.
In the 1300s, the king of England, Edward III, banned football, hockey, and handball. This shows a difference between sports using the feet, hands and sticks. So comes the argument that football was traditionally played using the feet and not the hands. However FIFA acknowledges Association Football (soccer)'s earliest drafts demonstrate 'handling' (possibly similar to Gaelic/Australian Rules) was acceptable, and hands appear to be involved in the earliest lithographic sketches of 'mob football' games such as Shrove-tide.
None of the modern codes of 'football' seem to have diverged formally from the various 'mob-footballs' until the 1800s.
In 1863,at Cambridge University, a group of Englishmen formed the Football Association and invented the modern game of soccer.
Many other "codes" of football were invented around this time. Rugby and Australian rules (earliest known draft, Melbourne 1858) were among the first to establish clear drafted rules. In North America, rugby and soccer were both played, and a hybrid, American football, was invented.
All sports using the term football have words placed in front such as Association (der.- Soccer), Rugby, American or Aussie Rules (Australian) or Gaelic (Irish) to differentiate them from each other. Typically they are individually and simply referred to as 'football' within the context in which they are the dominant code.
Willie Tidwell invented American football. He was a really good player in the day. Willie and Walter Camp both made up the rules for Gridiron. They got it from rugby and football. They took the hitting and other activities from rugby. Soccer uses the foot, and Tidwell and Camp both thought it would be good to have goal post for kicking field goals worth three points.
There are many possible places and times when American football might have been created. However, the most commonly accepted answer is in 1869, when Rutgers and Princeton had the "first" game. Of course, there had been others played before then, but this game was the first time that the game had a name. As for who created it, American football is derived almost directly from rugby, though there are many people who could be credited with the creation of many of the rules that are used today.
The word 'football' is from the English language and was originally spelt as 'foot ball'. When the term 'foot ball' was first used in medieval England it described 'a ball game played on foot' known as mob football or Shrovetide football in which more running with the ball was required than kicking the ball. These ball games had earlier descriptions such as 'playing at ball' and there were similar if not identical ball games being played in other countries at the same time. These games include 'Hurling' played in Wales & Cornwall and 'La Soule' or 'Choule' played in the north of France. However, mob football or Shrovetide football was the first ball game to be specifically referred to as 'foot ball'. I have created the link 'Shrovetide football' from the BBC which provides an insight into how the game is played showing photos of the Up'ards and Down'ards 'mob' playing the game.
These Shrovetide games evolved into other forms of football notably Rugby football which was said to have been started by a pupil at Rugby school called William Webb Ellis in 1823. The Rugby Union Football world cup is called the "Webb Ellis Trophy" after him. The rules of early Rugby contributed too many other codes of football in England and other English speaking countries during the 19th century. American football is one of these games. It could be argued that American football is a purer form of football than say Association football (soccer) or Australian Rules football because like Rugby is retains more of the original medieval characteristics.
Another Alternate Answer
Soccer was invented by the Chinese over a thousand years ago, it was re-invented and codified by Britain, who is known as "the home of football." Goal posts with nets were introduced in the very late 1800s.
Football started as a form of Rugby. Walter Camp is credited with being " The father of American Football" by implementing various rule changes.
American football is created from Rugby (English sport) and soccer is actually the real football(or as it is known around the world) Football was created by the English.
Simple Alternate Answer
The Chinese invented playing with a soccer ball and goals but in a very different style. The ball was made from blubber from the inner intestate of frogs and other animals. They would have a certain number of small goals or holes used as goals to score in. Later as dynasties changed they would use the soccer ball to play volleyball style soccer, and technique and juggling became a fashion as opposed to playing and scoring.
Britain later adapted but more over invented the official game of football.
They changed the style and rules up with 1 goal and 2 post thus inventing the game of football, futbol, or known in US as soccer.
The first Major league was started by the Scottish called the Scottish Premier League
Historically correct Answer
The word "football" is an English term which in early medieval times was spelt "fote-ball" (first recorded c.1400) to describe a 'ball game played on foot'. Early football games were not only played by the English but also by other European peoples under different names with localized innovations. Other forms include Irish "Caid" meaning 'Ball' the ancestor of Gaelic football, Cornish Hurling "HyrlÃ�Â®an", Welsh Hurling "Cnapan". A game called "La Soule" meaning 'The Ball' was played in France, "Ba" pronounced baw meaning 'Ball' played in Scotland and "Ball play" or "Playing at ball" or significantly "fote-ball" games played in England. These medieval ball games are the ones from which all modern football codes evolved and the Shrovetide ball game referred to as "fote-ball" is the version from which all modern football games take their name. These games may have evolved from a game played by the Romans called "Harpastum" which itself was an adaptation of an Ancient Greek game called "Episkyros" or "Phaininda" which, dating back to at least the 4th century BC, is the Worlds oldest known ball game that matches the medieval definition of football. It is worth noting that Harpastum was later recreated in 16th centaury Italy as "Calcio". Although there is a strong possibility the Roman and Greek ball games evolved into Shrovetide football and other similar ball games played in Europe as yet there are no verifiable connections. Dispite the lack of evidence it should be noted it is recorded that in Florence 59BC a game of Harpastum was played between Eipiphany and Lent the last day "Shrove Tuesday" the exact day on which Shrovetide football is still played in Derbyshire England. It should also be noted that Harpastum was taken to the Roman province of Britannia (modern day Britain) where it is recorded in 217AD that a game took place between the Romans and the native Britons. The Ancient Chinese also played a game called "Cuju" that dates back to the late 3rd centaury BC which has similarities to Association football. However, despite attempts by FIFA to infer an historical link between Cuju and Association Football there are no connections between Cuju and early ball games played in medieval Europe.
When discussing football it is a common mistake that football is the same subject as Soccer. This is incorrect. There are many forms of football of which "Soccer" or "Association Football" is just one code. Other popular codes include American football (Gridiron), Canadian football, Australian rules football, Gaelic football, Rugby Union football and Rugby league football. Some of these codes took ideas from previous codes. American football is a mix of Soccer, Rugby and ideas created in the USA in particular the forward pass. Canadian football is based on Rugby whilst Australian rules football and Gaelic football both draw ideas from Rugby, Soccer and in particular the medieval Shrovetide game Caid played in Ireland. Association football or Soccer was a product of English Public schools who had played football by various rules for centuries. Then in 1848 Cambridge University attempted to create a standard set of rules for Public schools. Two former students of Shrewsbury School Mr. H. de Winton and Mr. J.C. Thring organized a meeting at Trinity College, Cambridge with 12 representatives from other schools namely Eton, Harrow, Rugby, Winchester and Shrewsbury. In the eight hour meeting these men created what became the 'blue print' for Soccer. These rules became known as the "Cambridge Rules" which unlike "Rugby School Rules" (1823) favours a game in which the ball would be kicked more than carried. In 1863 a solicitor from Hull called Ebenezer Cobb Morley wrote an article for Bell's Life newspaper promoting the idea of a new regulatory body for football. This led to the formation of the "Football Association" whose main aim was to standardise the rules of football nationally. This new code was to be based on the Cambridge Rules. The 'Laws of the game' for Soccer or Association football were drafted by E. C. Morley along with other founder members of the Football Association. They agreed the rules at a public house called the Freemasons Tavern in London on 26th October 1863. Morley became the Football Associations first secretary. He also founded the Barnes Football Club in 1862 which he captained against Richmond football club in the first ever soccer match. The game ended 0-0 but in a return game he scored the first ever goal. He died in 1924 and is buried at a Cemetery on Barnes Common not far from where he drafted the Laws of the game at 26 The Terrace, Barnes, London. A blue plaque commemorating his life's work was placed on the wall of this address by English Heritage in 2009.
Entomology of the word soccer: The word soccer is a phonetic abbreviation of the word 'Association' coined by English public school students who took the 'soc' from 'Association' and put an 'er' on the end. That is why prior to 1863 the word soccer did not exist. It is probably worth noting the same students called Rugby football 'Rugger' but this word fell out of use.
When I first heard FIFA's claim soccer originated in China I was intrigued by the idea. Like many others I believed what FIFA said must be true. As a football fan I was keen to read the evidence they hand uncovered. I already knew that Association Football, American Football, Rugby Union Football, Rugby League Football, Australian Rules football and Gaelic football all evolved from medieval ball games played Europe, but prior to this I had no idea where football came from. I decided to read up on this new FIFA discovery.
One problem I encountered straight away was that when looking for this proof FIFA claimed to have uncovered I could not find any! I then discovered FIFA had only put together a hypothesis that the British community who lived in China during the 19th centaury had taken Cuju back to England where it was used as a basis for Association Football. FIFA found no evidence to back up this colonialist idea and the more they looked the more they discovered their idea had no basis in fact, yet they still clamed "scientific evidence".
I decided to take a look at this so called 'scientific evidence'. What I found was a cleverly worded opinion by a self appointed FIFA authority who implied there was a scientific connection between Cuju and Soccer and who wrote in a way that any casual reader would be seduced into thinking they were reading proof when in fact they were reading theory.
Around the same time it became clear FIFA were aggressively pushing the sale of their football product in China. That is when the alarm bells started to ring and I realised there might be an ulterior motive to why FIFA were going to so much trouble. It should be noted that the Football Association in England who are promoting their Premiership product in China were happy to capitulate with FIFA accepting as a gift a Chinese picture of a Cuju player whilst smiling for the cameras.
Meanwhile back in the real world, despite anything FIFA have said the rules of Association Football remain a reworked version of Cambridge Rules Football which themselves were a hybrid of many games which had been played in English and some Irish public schools for hundreds of years. That is a verifiable and unchanged.
Later on I read an article where the FIFA President clamed Cuju spread from China to the Roman Empire. Clearly being unable to connect Cuju directly to Soccer through British colonialist FIFA had changed their story. I looked for the evidence to support this new claim. The Roman ball in question is called Harpastum. What I discovered is that Harpastum was the Romanised version of an Ancient Greek football game called Phaininda or Episkyros played as early as 2000 BC some 1300 - 1700 years before Cuju is appeared in China.
Incredibly it would seem FIFA were trying to change known European history by substituting the Greek game of Episkyros with the Chinese game of Cuju. I conclude FIFA's claim that football originated in China literally does not add up in time frame or otherwise. I believe this theory has now been abandoned by FIFA, although the importance of the Greek and Roman contribution to all forms of modern football is still played down by them.
I have looked at Cuju and there in no doubt the game agrees with the definition of a foot ball game. However, short of FIFA providing evidence there is a connection with Cuju and the foot ball games played in medieval Europe, the only possible conclusion is that Cuju developed in south east Asia free of outside influence and as such has to be viewed as a sport in it's own right which from first principles developed independently.
After this I decided to start researching the origins of medieval ball games played in Europe which are known to have collectively contributed to the evolution of football. I wanted to find out if medieval foot ball games could be connected to the Roman game Harpastum.
The games I researched were the ball game played in Northern French known as La Soule "The Ball", Mob football played in England, Cornish Hurling, Welsh Hurling, Gaelic football, Irish Hurling and Shrovetide football which was played in many European countries in medieval times. All these games have similar rules (if any rules) two teams, two goals (such as they were) and were played within a defined area.
All these games have similarities to Harpastum but the one that stands our above the rest is Cornish Hurling. It is now my belief that the Roman games Harpastum and Cornish Hurling (HyrlÃ�Â®an in Cornish Celtic) are one and the same game. The game of Hurling is of Celtic origin and the Cornish are descendants of the Romano-Britons who are known to have played Harpastum.
The rules of Harpastum are ambiguous but what we do know from the concepts used include a small hard ball, two goals (such as they were), two teams. Cornish Hurling also uses small hard ball, two goals, two teams and virtually no rules which might account for the reason detailed rules of Harpastum have not survived.
Harpastum and Cornish Hurling were/are also played on public holidays notably days of Christian importance such as Shrovetide. And it was of course the Romans who converted the Romano-Britons to Christianity which also ties in.
I accept that this theory does not provide absolute proof of a connection between Harpastum and Cornish Hurling. Due to very few first millennium AD documents surviving it is unlikely definitive proof exist. However, when you take an overall view on this I have identified decedents of Romano-Britons who live in the right place, who Cary on traditions from generation to generation, playing a similar ball game to the Romans, using a similar small hard ball as the Romans, with the same disregard for safety as the Romans and who are celebrating Christian festivals in a way the Romans did. I would liken this to what Douglas Adams once said "If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands". At the very least there is a tangible theory here which connects Harpastum with modern day forms of football which is more than can be for Cuju.
I will leave it there for you to decide for yourself. We know Cornish Hurling was one of the similar medieval ball games which contributed to the creation of early Rugby games. Some of the codes and concepts introduced by Rugby and other public schools in England would later be used to create Cambridge Rules football, American Football, Association Football (soccer) and Australian Rules football.
Gaelic Football is much older that the aforementioned games and is one of the family of medieval ball game which evolved independently of Rugby although is should be noted is connected from medieval times and contributed to the rules of Australian Rules Football which also draw upon the rules of Association Football. So when UEFA placed an image of a Greek Episkyros player taken on the European Cup there were right to do so because all the evidence points to football originating in Ancient Greece 4000 years ago.
Gridiron football, not futbol or soccer, first documented
football game was played at the University of Toronto on the
present site of University College 400 yards west of Queen's Park
on November 9, 1861. One of the participants in the game involving
University of Toronto students was Sir William Mulock, later it's
Chancellor. It has been modernized ever since.
The man that is credited with inventing football is Walter Camp.