A brief history of football

What is football? Football, as I define it, is a game whereby there is a ball, some players on two opposing teams, with the winner being decided by a points system involving some sort of kicking of the ball with the feet! Simple isn’t it?

But there are so many codes claiming to be “real” football. And anyways, rugby is meant to be about scoring tries, not kicking… We’ll get back to that later.

So of Soccer, Rugby, Rugby League and AFL, who gets to call their code Football? Well. It’s ALL football people. Soccer people will argue that Soccer is football and calling it Soccer is an insult invented by foreigners… well no. The nomenclature is defined thus: asSOCiation Football (as defined by the rules laid out by the Football Association) was called Soccer. RUGby School Football (as defined by the laws set out by the Rugby School) was called Rugger. Rugby League is called League, but who cares. American Football is called Gridiron, thanks to the layout of the lines on the field.

“What about Australian Rules Football”, I hear you cry? Well, this is a bit more problematic. It’s not really a football code, because as all footballists know, a proper football code implements some form of offside rule. That technicality aside, the history of the origin of the game is slightly blighted (no pun intended). There is a considerable body of evidence to suggest it would be fair to call it Marn Grook.¬†As it stands, I would suggest crafting the name from its rule writers acronym, as per soccer and rugby. So from aFL, we get Fluffer!

“Yes, well Rugby is about scoring points from tries, not kicking points! God I hate it how they score 3 points for a drop goal..”, is the cry I hear, with much booing, lighting of flares and shoulder charging… Well no. That’s not the original purpose of tries. In the original laws, a team would be allowed to TRY for points with a place kick if they were able to get the ball into the try area and place it down legitimately… So it turns out, Rugby is about kicking the ball and scoring points… who knew?

This being Melbourne, and people being more inclined to follow simple sports, it is understandable that non-rugby crowds gravitate to the simpler rules of Rugby League, the high scoring AFL and the simple beauty of moving chess that is Soccer. But over time, here at Chip n Chase, we’ll break down the laws and concepts of rugby in a bid to help open it to a wider audience.

Just remember that if you chip, you gotta chase.

Ivan