Football and soccer are two of the most beloved sports in the entire world. They are considered two distinct sports, and in terms of popularity, football has gained a lot of ground as compared to soccer, but many people are still wondering what the similarities and the differences between these two famous sports are.
Although they share many similarities in terms of the action performed on the field, these two worldwide famous sports have a different history, as well as different play characteristics.
Although it is currently more famous, football is younger than soccer, and it was developed as a sort of relative of the latter. We don’t really know the first time football was played, but what we do know is that around the 1800s, the sport started gaining ground as teams started to emerge, playing a sport that was similar to soccer, but that already had some distinct features.
Soccer is actually the sport that inspired not only football, but also rugby. These two sports were founded upon the basic rules of soccer, so this is the oldest sport or all of them and, as such, it has the longest history in the world of sports.
The noticeable difference occurred when soccer started to be played with the “no hands” rule, which was not an established rule before. In this way, rugby was born as a distinct sport.
Later on, rugby also developed into two forms of play; there was the traditional rugby, consisting in allowing drop kick goals and more footwork, and then there was American football, which is based on kickoffs and field goals – that remained as a rule which continued the soccer tradition, but also handoffs and tackling – a common feature with its relative, rugby. American football also has other distinct features, different from its other related sports.
According to the Soccer Museum, soccer has an incredibly long history, as they have discovered a Chinese text dating from around 50 B.C., which talks about “soccer” games in ancient China. There is no description of the actual game, so we have no way of knowing how similar the ancient sport and the modern one really were, but the mere confirmation of the sport’s existence says a lot about its popularity then and now.
Relative to team size, football and soccer have some different features. Football has three major subdivisions within the team that is on the field: the offense, the defense and the special teams. Each team has its own responsibilities and objectives. There can be between 30 and 60 people actually making up the whole football team, while a soccer team only has maximum 22 players, out of which 11 are on the field during a game.