Football has been played in Europe for centuries. It began as a mob type game that was popular in the middle ages. The balls were inflated pig bladders, and the rules were a little dicey, but if you jumped into a time machine and went back to watch these mob games you would recognize the basic elements of football as we know it today. Ball games are actually as old as recorded history, and many cultures around the world have played games that involved kicking a ball and running. It’s hard to believe that the polished spectacle we enjoy so much in the game today descended from these rough and tumble field games.
The Game Grows Up
It wasn’t until 1863 that the game became formalized into a game with rules and standards. The Football Association in Europe gathered to create formal leagues and teams so that games could be better arranged and there would be less chaos. Teams developed unique uniforms, which were brightly colored so that they could easily distinguish between players on the large field. This is when the rules of goalies wearing certain, separate colors were introduced, as well as individual numbers so that players could be identified.
Fans Get Into the Game
Once official teams were established that represented certain geographical locations, it didn’t take long for fans to start lining up to watch the games. There was a sense of civic pride that made football more interesting for those who didn’t play the game, and eventually there was a need to build larger and larger spectator areas around the field.
As the popularity of the game increased, the idea of separating the professionals from the amateurs became more necessary. The Football Association established pay rates for players who were members, and began to charge a fee for fans to watch games.
Football soon became a global phenomenon. It spread out of Europe through the British and French colonists, and eventually there were teams and fans as far away as South America. A need for.