Are you ready for some football? No, not soccer, the other football!

football3Many American members of the ISBerne community will be up late tonight watching the Super Bowl, the end of season championship game for the football season.  ‘American football’, that is, not ‘soccer’ or ‘European football’.  Now we all know that the two games are very, very different.  The only thing that might be the same, is the sheer insanity attached to the championship games for both sports.  Tonight in the U.S.A., the Super Bowl between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens will gain more TV viewers there than any other event of the year.  Similarly, soccer events like the FIFA World Cup, which will be held in 2014 in Brazil, will capture the attention of every country in the world where soccer is known as the one and only “football.”

Maggie, from Grade 7, did a bit of research and submitted the below article to explain the history of the sport of “football”:

Football and Football: The Story Behind

Admit it, at some point you have wondered why American football is called “football”, why European football is called “football”, and why Americans call the game “soccer”. Hopefully, this article will enlighten you about the history and the reasons behind how these two sports’ names came to be.

First, American football originated from the British sport of rugby.  American football commenced in the mid-1800s as a version of rugby. It started out very similar to rugby, where a player kicked the ball over the line, carried it, and ran over the 1855 line to score. Since kicking the BALL with the FOOT starts out plays, many people believe this is the reason it is called football.  In modern-day American Football, a player kicks the ball to start out the quarter. The other time it is kicked is for a field goal to gain three points.   The rest of the time the players are catching and holding the ball in their hands and running to score.  Confusing, right?  A game where the ball is mostly in the hands called “football” does not make much sense at all.

football2It makes a bit more sense in Europe, where football refers to the game where you must dribble the ball using your feet and kick it in a goal on the opposite side of a field defended by a goalie. Obviously, the more logical name to call this game is football because throughout it you use your FEET to dribble a BALL to the opponent’s side of the field and attempt to kick the ball in to score. The only player who is allowed to use his hands during the game is the goalie who defends the goal. Since players are constantly using their feet to kick the ball into the goal, football is a logical name for the game.

footballFinally, there is soccer, a modern-day American term, which is the same game as European football. The game of soccer started out ain England as Association Football in the 1860s. Then, in England, it was abbreviated to “Assocer”.  Ultimately the word became shortened to soccer when an English man created this word that was later used to call the name of the sport. When this sport was introduced into America in the late 1800s, it was still called Association Football. After World War ll, Americans began to call it soccer. There is no definition of “soccer”, in the dictionary, besides the game (A game played on a rectangular field with net goals at either end in which two teams of 11 players each try to drive a ball into the other’s goal by kicking, heading, or using any part of the body except the arms and hands. The goalie is the only player who may touch or move the ball with the arms or hands), it is simply an abbreviation.

As you can see, there are stories and reasons behind each of these sports and their names. Hopefully, now you have a bit of insight about why each culture calls these games what they do today. So, whether you are playing European football, American soccer, or American football, now you know what to call it!

Margaret M.
ISBerne Student – Grade 7

Soccer at ISBerne, one of the beginner and intermediate sport club offerings, is fun-based for girls and boys from Grades 3-12. ISBerne students compete against other schools depending on the development of the team.

football1Last year’s secondary school girls football team shows off their sponsored hoodies.



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