5 May 2023

Development of Football Rules

By tolgagenc

In the nineteenth century, “soccer” could refer to various games in which players tried to move a ball towards the opponent’s goal. The first published rules of “football” were Rugby School rules (1845), which allowed the use of hands, followed by the Eton rules (1847), which were much more restrictive to hand play.

When the rules created by each school uniquely caused a chaotic environment, this did not allow competition due to the lack of a unifying code. Representatives of schools having a football team came together at Cambridge University in 1848. The “Cambridge Rules” was the first name of football. They agreed on the rule set. Players would now only be able to hit the ball with their feet, only goalkeepers could handle the ball, and players from the same team would wear uniforms of the same color.

As the football rules began to be standardized, football clubs began to take their place on the stage of history. Sheffield FC, founded in 1857 as the world’s first football club, was followed by 15 teams established in the Sheffield Region until 1862. These clubs were starting to play matches under Sheffield Union name, depending on the rules established by Sheffield FC. The first detailed rules published by a football club rather than a school or university were Sheffield FC rules and were used for 20 years until the Football Association rules, written in 1858 and published in 1859.

In 1862 the Cambridge Rules were revised. John Charles Thring was one of the teachers of Uppingham College in the Rutland Region. He played football with a goal more significant than the others and published its 10-point rules in 1862 under “The Simplest Game” non-violent regulations that complement the game as if you can only kick the ball by kicking it. The regulations were widely accepted by schools.

When the Football Association met in late 1863, many different rules were published. These rules include how far a player could handle the ball, the offside treatment, the amount of physical contact allowed with opponents, height at which a goal could be scored.

The final version of the FA laws was officially adopted and published in December 1863. Some key differences from the modern game are listed below:
• Goals can be scored at any height (as in Australian football today).
• Players are allowed to catch the ball (provided they do not run or throw the ball). A catch is rewarded with a free kick.
• There was a strict offside rule (similar to today’s offside rule in rugby) that if there was any player further ahead than the kicker, he was in an offside position.
• Throw-in is awarded to the first player to touch the ball after the ball is out of play. The ball had to be thrown at right angles to the touchline (as in rugby today).
• There were no corner kicks. There was a rugby-like situation when the ball crossed the goal line: if an attacking player first touched the ball after it was out of play, the attacking team had the opportunity to take a free kick. If a defender touched the ball first, the defending team was handling the ball over or behind the goal line (equivalent to a goal kick).
• After each goal, the rook will be changed.

The rules did not make any provision for field markings other than a goalkeeper, match officials, penalties for infractions, duration of the match, half-time, number of players, or flags to mark the boundary of the playing field.

If we look at the developments in the following years:

1866 – The strict rugby-style offside rule is relaxed. According to the First Football Laws of the Game, being ahead of the ball was considered offside. This rule was changed in 1866 as an offside penalty is not imposed if three opposing players are between the goal and the ball.
A band (corresponding to the modern crossbar) was added to the goals so that goals could be scored at any height, as in Australian football today.

1867 – The situation where the ball goes behind the goal line is simplified, and all rugby-like elements are removed. The defensive team would start the game with a goal kick regardless of which team touched the ball,
The height of the castles has also been reduced from 5 meters to 1.80 meters. In today’s football, the height of the goals is 2.44 meters. The goal clearance rule was established in 1869.
From 1866 to 1883, the practice of placing tape between the goalposts continued.

1870 – Any ball-handling is prohibited (previously, players were allowed to hold the ball). The rule for hand-holding was abolished in 1870. The teams would change goals if no goals were scored in the first half.

1871 – Goalkeepers were first mentioned in 1871, giving them the sole right to handle the ball. The specific position of the goalkeeper, who is allowed to control the ball “to protect his goal”, is defined.
1872 – Indirect free kick for hand play is introduced. The size of the ball changed in 1872, and the corner rule was introduced. After the goals were scored in the second half, the teams did not change the field.

1873 – A throw-in is awarded to the other team against the team that touched the ball. Previously, it was awarded to the first player of either team to touch the ball after the ball went out of play. The goalkeeper is prohibited from handling the ball.

1874 – Indirect free kick, previously used only to penalize handball, is expanded to include foul and offside. A match official (“referee”) was tasked with enforcing the rules, which was previously expected of team captains.

1875 – A goal could not be scored directly from a corner kick or kick-off. The goal could have been a band as well as a crossbar. The rule of changing the goals in terms of circuits was established in 1875.

1877 – The ball could be thrown in any direction. Previously, it had to be thrown at right angles to the touchline, as in rugby rules today. As a result of this change, the Sheffield Football Association has agreed to abandon its distinctive “Sheffield Rules” and enforce the FA rules.

1878 – A player could be offside from a throw-in.

1881 – Referees started using whistles for the first time in 1878. The referee was mentioned in the rules of the game in 1881. Warning (for rude behavior) and expulsion (for violent behavior) are included in the regulations for the first time.

1883 – In December 1882, The International Football Conference was held between the English, Scottish, Irish, and Welsh football associations, and the following year, with a few changes to the FA laws, these rules were unified among these countries. The throw-in finally reached its modern form, with players having to throw the ball over the head using both hands. A player would no longer be offside from a corner kick. The goalkeeper could take two steps while holding the ball. The option to use tape was removed while requiring a crossbar in the goal. The kick-off should have been thrown forward. The touchline began to be drawn, which had previously marked the boundary of the playing field with flags.

1887 – The goalkeeper would not be able to catch the ball in the opponent’s half.

1889 – A player could be sent off for repeated behavior requiring a warning.

1891 – A penalty kick is taken within 12 yards of the goal line for a handball or foul. Field markings were made for the goal area, penalty area, midfield, and midpoint. Castle nets began to be placed.

1897 – The law determined number of players on each team (11) and the duration of each match (90 minutes unless otherwise agreed). Half-court lines are drawn. The field’s maximum length has been reduced from 200 yards to 130 yards.

1901 – Goalkeepers would be able to hold the ball for any purpose, as previously, the goalkeeper was only allowed to keep the ball “to defend his goal”.

1902 – The goal and penalty areas are drawn to their modern dimensions, being drawn six yards and eighteen yards from the goalposts, respectively. Penalty points entered the rules.

1903 – A goal may be scored directly from a free kick awarded for handling or foul play. Previously all penalty kicks except penalty kicks were indirect. The referee could have avoided giving a free kick or penalty to give the attacking team an advantage. A player could be expelled for “using abusive or violent language to the referee”.

1907 – No offside when players are in their half side.

1912 – The goalkeeper could only handle the ball inside the penalty area.

1920 – A player would not be offside from a throw-in.

1924 – A goal could be scored directly from a corner kick.

1925 – The offside rule is further relaxed: the player would not be offside as long as there were two opponents between the offensive player and the opponent’s goal line, which previously required three opponents.

1931 – The goalkeeper could take four steps instead of two while carrying the ball.

1937 – Added “D” to field markings to ensure players do not advance within 10 yards after taking the penalty kick.

1938 – a committee led by Stanley Rous entirely revised The Rules. With this new regulation, seventeen laws that still exist today emerged, of which there were fourteen laws before.

The 17 main articles that make up the rules and that change over time are as follows:

1. Football pitch: It is rectangular area covered with natural or artificial grass where football matches are played. Its dimensions and standards are specified in the first rule of football rules.
2. Ball: A soccer ball, a ball produced for use in football matches. Its standards are stated in the second article of the football rules determined by the International Football Association Board (IFAB for short). The spherical ball has a circumference of 68-70 cm (27-28 inches), a weight of 410-450 g (14-16 oz), and internal pressure of 0.6-1.1 atm (59-108 kPa, 8,6-15.7 psi).
3. Number of players: People who play football are called football players, and each team takes place on the field with eleven players, one of which is a goalkeeper. According to the rules, the game can be started even if any team has at least seven players. Unlike other players, goalkeepers have the right to touch the ball with their hands and arms within the boundaries of their designated area (the penalty area). Each team has a certain number of substitute players according to the organization’s rules where the football match takes place outside the players on the field.
4. Players’ clothing and equipment: Shirts, clothing, or equipment worn by football players in football matches. Football players wear jersey numbers on their backs and shorts (and chests) to be identified during games.
5. Referee: The referee is the person who is responsible for the implementation of the rules of football matches.
6. Assistant referees: In football, the assistant referee is one of the referees who helps the middle referee by controlling the match. Two referees, known as the linesman, are on the touchline, and the fourth referee assists from the side. Decisions made by the assistant referee are only recommendations for the middle referee. In addition, the assistant referee can express his opinion on the issues that the central referee has to clarify.
7. Duration of the match: Official football matches consist of 90 minutes divided into two 45 minute-halves. In both halves, the match duration continues even if the ball is out of play. Any time lost during the match due to substitutions, injuries, time wasted, penalty kicks or other causes may be added to the game at the end of each half at the referee’s discretion.
8. Start and restart of play: kick-off, throw-in, goal kick, corner kick, direct and indirect free kick, penalty kick, referee kick.
9. Ball in play and ball out play: The ball is in play and out of play, is the ninth rule in football, which states when the ball is in play and out of play. The ball is in play between start and end of both match halves.
10. Method of scoring: The goal is the number of points scored when the ball crosses the goal line in sports competitions such as football, handball, hockey, and ice hockey. Like many football terms, this word entered Turkish from English. The English phrase goal also carries meanings such as aim, target, and ideal. In Turkish, the goal is only the event after crossing the goal line in sports.
11. Offside: A player is offside when he is closer to the opposing team’s goal line than the ball and the second-last opponent. If the player is in his half side, in line with the second-last opponent, is behind the ball, although there is no player between him and the goal, it is not offside if, despite being in an offside position, the ball comes to him as a result of interference from any of the opponents (These are the rough rules, but the offside rules are the most revised. between)
12. Fouls and misconduct: Fouls are actions committed by players in football matches and defined by the referee as against the rules.
13. Free kicks (direct and indirect): A direct free kick is a foul throw in football when the defending team touches the ball outside the penalty area or fouls a player. An indirect free kick or double kick is a kick taken by a player with a teammate standing behind the ball after it has touched it.
14. Penalty kick: A player can only take a single shot into the goal defended by the opposing team’s goalkeeper. Awarded by the referee if a player commits a foul within his penalty area that is punishable by a direct free kick. The shot is taken from the penalty mark 11 m (12 yards) from the goal line and centered between the touchlines.
15. Throw-in: A method of restarting the game after the ball leaves the field’s sidelines. The ball is held with both hands and thrown from behind and above the head. It provided that the feet were not removed from the ground. The opposing team takes the throw in whichever team player last touched the ball before it went out of bounds.
16. Goal kick: A goal kick is a method of starting the game in football. If the ball enters the opposing team’s goal with a goal kick or in other words, the goal is considered valid, but if the ball enters the own goal of the team taking the goal kick, the goal is not counted, and the opposing team restarts the game with a corner kick.
17. Corner kick: A corner kick or corner kick is one of the methods of putting the ball into play in football. A corner kick is awarded to the opposing team if the entire ball goes outside the goal line after it last touched any player of the defending team. A corner kick is taken from the corner closest to where the ball came out. The opposing team players must be at least 9.15 m (10 yards) from the ball during the kick.

(IFAB, 2016/17).