The earliest version of a team game using a ball was seen in Mesoamerican cultures known as Tlachtli. In this game, the ball was made of solid rubber and the players could only use their legs, hips, and elbows to send the ball through a hoop made of stone. From there numerous different games would be made, one of which being soccer. The development of soccer can be traced back to England during the 12th century. During this time, it was played more like rugby as it was rougher, and you could use your hands and punch the ball. This version you could see being played by numerous people throughout a large area in towns. Due to this, damage to the towns was frequent and death was also possible which led to the game being forbidden until the 17th century where games similar would still be played. In this century, the game was also introduced to public schools specifically Rugby and Eton. The school of Rugby would keep the game similar to its origins which would create the game we know as rugby. Eaton would go on to change this so the ball could only be touched with the player's feet. In 1848, a meeting was held in Cambridge to create proper rules which would fail to find a solution for all questions raised. A little less than 20 years later, the first association was formed in London England which would decide that the players using their hands would be illegal, and a standard size and weight for the ball was also decided.
As the game continued to grow popular, rules would be added or changed over time. Referees for the game were not added until 1871 so before this time, assigned captains from both teams would oversee keeping order. In 2018 a var (video assistant referee) system would first be used in the European leagues to help referees with calls which included goals, penalties, and red cars. One of the most game-changing positions in soccer wasn’t a distinctive position until 1909, and this position was the goalkeeper. It wasn’t until this time did the keeper wear a different color. Then three years later, they were allowed to use their hands inside the goal box of their goal. A year later after referees were added, in 1872, corner-kicks were added and then in 1924, a corner-kick was allowed to score a goal. In 1891, rules for penalties were introduced but would not be marked on the field until 1902 so a penalty before this would be given if a referee thought an offense against the rules was made within twelve yards from the goal line. Shoot-outs from the penalty line for a draw game to decide a winner were not formally introduced until 1970 and in 1982 the first World Cup shoot-out happened in the semi-final between West Germany and France. From 1866, when it was first installed, to 1921 offsides rules were changed. In 1866, the rule of offside was a player could only pass the ball forward if there were three players from the other side between the ball and the goal. This rule caused a lack of goals leading to several changes. In, 1907 adds that a player couldn’t be offsides on their own side, and in 1921 they added that it was impossible to be offsides for a throw-in. It also changed by having there only be two opposite players between the ball and the goal. The rules for offsides led to the game tactically which also led to defenders being used more in the game.
Other than rules changing as soccer grew the equipment was also added or changed to better a player on the field. In the 19th century, the ball being used was starting to be made from rubber with the first one being used in 1855. Before this time, the balls used were unpredictable and made of pigs' skin. From there in 1862 the first inflatable rubber ball was made more flexible allowing it to be kicked easier and controlled while the shape stayed the same. With this also came the different sizes for different age groups. A size five would be used by players twelve and older, a size 4 for players from the ages eight to twelve, and a size 3 for players younger than eight. Another piece of equipment that changed was the shoes. Originally the shoes used were a pair of steel-toed work boots with metal tacks hammered into the sole. But in 1863 the football association prohibited nails, iron plates, or plastic from tree rosin to be projected from a player's shoe. From this time shoes would continue to change to be more resilient, lightweight, and to not absorb moisture, as well as being made to help with kicking and manipulating the ball. Today, shoes are still being improved for these things to help better a player's skill. In 1863 the rule for shin guards was introduced as soccer was known to injure a player's shin. Like today, shin guards are continuously being advanced to not only protect the player, but some brands also feature advantages that others may not.
Women playing soccer was very hard to come by until the end of the 1880s. During this time, it was a very controversial thing as it was still a rough sport and people were horrified by the idea of women being a part of a “masculine sport.” During a woman’s game, it wasn’t uncommon for a strike to occur which included people just invading the field. In 1881 the team Mrs. Graham XI was one of the first teams to feel this force during their first big game when at the fifty-fifth minute a group of uncontrollable specters entered the field. Around the time of World War I, women organized their own matches, and thousands of spectators were attracted. While was a huge breakthrough for women of this sport a rumor of them being paid led to public outrage, typically men. These outbreaks led to the Football Association of England banning women from playing soccer and being able to get to club facilities in 1921. It wouldn’t be until fifty years later that the ban would be lifted and from there on women’s soccer would grow at an incredible rate. But even as the sport grew there were still challenges one of which was the pay gap between female and male professional players. In the year 2019, the women’s US team filed a lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation for this pay gap. This gap can be seen even between the female and male highest-paid players. Carli Lloyd was this for the females earning $518,000 annually compared to the one million a week that Lionel Messi, the highest-paid male player. The gap between the two players is outstanding. While in May of 2020 the lawsuit was dismissed woman were still able to gain equal pay.
From the game of soccer, many variations have been made one of which being futsal. It was in 1930 when a teacher named Juan Carlos Ceriani created this game for recreational fun at the YMCA. Futsal is related to soccer but is played on a smaller field and is typically played on a hard court indoors. It is played with two teams of 5 players one of which being a keeper. Unlike the typical game of soccer, futsal is based more on foot skills and is played at a faster pace. This fast pace and smaller courts allow for goals to be more frequently made in futsal than they would be in a soccer game. Another variation of soccer is known as Teqball, which is a combination of soccer and table tennis. This version of soccer is still new as it was introduced in 2014. It is played on a table that is like that of a ping pong table the only difference is the tabletop is curved. This game is played using only feet, knees, chest, and head and games go to 12 and is a best-of-three-match style game. The other variation to come from soccer is foot volleyball. This game is very similar to volleyball but is instead played with your feet and is played with a soccer ball instead of a volleyball. The rules are very similar to that of volleyball as well as you must get the ball on the opposing side, and it must touch the ground to gain a point.
During the early years of soccer, tactics, and formations were not like today. Teams would use a 2-2-6 or 1-2-7 type shape with passing not being very prominent from 1870 to 1930. In the 1950s, Hungary’s national teams played with a deep-lying midfielder and had two players in the full-back position. They also had 4 strikers; with this, they were able to create space giving the attackers more opportunities to make plays. In the 1960s, Brazil started playing with a four-person defense, two central players, and two full-backs. In the 1970s, the Dutch team integrated more movement into the game, this included players switching positions in the outfield. In the 1980s defense was used very heavily. From there, the game took on more of a fluid play like it did in the 1970s. This type of play involved lots of possession and lots of pressing off the ball. While these are the dominant tactics used today the formations of the game continue to change and different ones are used by different teams.