Football is the name given to a number of different team sports, all of which involve (to varying degrees) kicking a ball with the foot in an attempt to score a goal. The most popular of these sports world-wide is association football, also known as soccer and most commonly just football. The English language word "football" is also applied to gridiron football (which includes American football and Canadian football), Australian rules football, Gaelic football, rugby football (rugby league and rugby union), and related games. Each of these codes (specific sets of rules, or the games defined by them) is referred to as "football".
These games involve:
* two teams of between 11 and 18 players
* kicking a spherical or prolate spheroid ball (which is itself called a football) with the foot;
* a clearly defined area in which to keep the ball;
* scoring goals and/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;
* the goal and/or line being defended by the opposing team;
* players being required to move the ball—depending on the code—by kicking, carrying and/or hand passing the ball;
* goals and/or points resulting from players putting the ball between two goalposts and;
* penalties imposed for causing the ball to leave the area of play, or excessive contact with the opposing team.
In most codes, there are rules restricting the movement of players offside and players scoring a goal must put the ball either under or over a crossbar between the goalposts. Other features common to several football codes include: points being mostly scored by players carrying the ball across the goal line and; players receiving a free kick after they take a mark/make a fair catch.
Peoples from around the world have played games which involved kicking and/or carrying a ball, since ancient times. However, most of the modern codes of football have their origins in Europe.
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