Various forms of football can be identified in history, often as popular peasant games. Contemporary codes of football can be traced back to the codification of these games atEnglish public schools in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. The influence and power of the British Empire allowed these rules of football to spread, including to areas of British influenceoutside of the directly controlled Empire, though by the end of the nineteenth century, distinct regional codes were already developing: Gaelic Football, for example, deliberately incorporated the rulesof local traditional football games in order to maintain their heritage. In 1888, The Football League was founded in England, becoming the first of many professional football competitions. In thetwentieth century, the various codes of football have become amongst the most popular team sports in the world.
The various codes of football share the following commonelements:
Two teams of usually between 11 and 18 players; some variations that have fewer players (five or more per team) are also popular.
A clearly defined area in which toplay the game.
Scoring goals or points, by moving the ball to an opposing team's end of the field and either into a goal area, or over a line.
Goals or points resulting from players putting...